It may not have been the match that Georgia wanted to be involved in on the final day of the IRB Junior World Rugby Trophy, but they made sure they exited the tournament by producing their best performance to beat Romania 34-10 in the third place playoff on Sunday.
Georgia were very effective in the backs - all five tries came from them - and strong up front at the Stade Français Club in Santiago, while also denying the Romanians many opportunities to get on the scoreboard after they had taken the lead with a first minute penalty by their fly half Alin Georgescu.
In fact 54 minutes elapsed before Romania added to that early penalty, by which time Georgia were in complete control of the match having scored four tries to stretch their half time advantage of 10-3 into a comfortable 27-3 lead.
Georgia’s first two tries came in the 10 minutes before half time through wing Alexandre Tuchashvili and full back Vakhtang Kavtidze. They didn’t have long to wait for a third try, Tuchashvili claiming his second of the match after running along the line and evading the Romanian defence.
Replacement Goderdzi Joglidze kicked the conversion and added a penalty soon afterwards before fly half Lasha Khmaladze scored Georgia’s fourth try in the 52nd minute to all but wrap up the bittersweet victory for the Georgians who had come to Chile with the goal of winning the inaugural title.
Romania did cut the deficit when full back Robert Topala scored and then converted his own try, but Georgia had the final say in the match with a fifth try from their backline through scrum half Giorgi Rokhvadze in the 69th minute, converted again by Joglidze, the leading point scorer in the tournament with only the final remaining.
Georgia wing Jaba Kikvidze: “This was not the game we wanted to be playing in but we play very often against Romania so we didn’t want to lose this one. Our forwards made sure we had good quality ball and the backs also played very efficiently. We go home full of memories from Chile and the tournament which we really enjoyed.”
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