Georgia beat Namibia 17-16 at Sandy Park on Wednesday night in their Rugby World Cup Pool C match. It was a scrappy match, with poor discipline and handling errors prevailing throughout the 80 minutes. Poor discipline cost the Welwitchias the match, while handling errors by the Lelos cost them a number of try-scoring opportunities. Georgia now move into third place in Pool C, while Namibia remain bottom, despite earning their first point at the Rugby world Cup.
It was an error-prone start to the match at Sandy Park as Georgia gave away a penalty with their first contribution of the
night. Theuns Kotze slotted the resulting penalty kick, putting the Welwitchias ahead in the first minute of the match. Despite dominating the scrums, the Georgians continued to commit unforced errors, holding onto the ball and knocking the ball on when in promising attacking positions.
In the 10th minute, it looked as if the men of Borjgali had scored when Alexander Todua went over in the left corner, but referee George Clancy ruled out the try after spotting a knock-on by Lasha Malaguradze while attempting to rip the ball from a Namibian player. Two minutes later, the Lelos were on the attack again, this time driving towards the try line from the lineout. Holding on was the call, after the maul went to ground and Namibia were let off the hook.
In the 16th minute, poor discipline from Georgia would allow Theuns Kotze an opportunity to double Namibia’s lead and the fly half made no mistake as he slotted over to make it 6-0. In the 19th minute, a knock on from Jaques Burger would allow the Georgians to go on the attack, but another handling error close to the try line would save Namibia. Georgia continued to dominate possession for the remainder of the first period, however handling errors and a courageous Welwitchia defence would see them go into the break trailing by 6 points.
Namibia kicked off the second period with thirteen players after both their props were sin binned in the closing stages of the first half. Despite trailing by 6 points, the Lelos started the half the brighter of the two teams, dominating the scrums and attacking through enterprising backline play. In the 50th minute, Mamuka Gorgodze finally went over the line for the men of Borjgali, while the Welwitchias were shown another yellow card after Renaldo Bothma’s tackle on Lasha Malaguradze in the build up to the try was adjudged to be dangerous.
In the 55th minute, Lasha Malaguradze dotted down for Georgia, extending their lead to eight points. Poor discipline by Namibia would cost them a further three points in the 66th minute as they were penalised for slowing down the ball at the breakdown. Three minutes later, however, the Welwitchias would be on the receiving end as Georgia were penalised for using hands in the ruck.
Despite being on the back foot for majority of the match, the men from Southern Africa would finish the match the stronger of the two teams, with Theuns Kotze powering over in the 73rd minute. Georgia appeared rattled heading into the final minutes of the match, but overeagerness would cost the Welwitchias as Renaldo Bothma went off his feet at the ruck, handing over possession to their opponents.
The match ended with Georgia winning their second match in the World Cup and look set to finished 3rd in Pool C which will ensure automatic qualification for the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan.
Kvirikashvili, 14 Tamaz Mchedlidze, 13 Davit Kacharava, 12 Merab Sharikadze, 11
Alexander Todua, 10 Lasha Malaguradze, 9 Vasil Lobzhanidze, 8 Mamuka Gorgodze
(captain), 7 Viktor Kolelishvili, 6 Giorgi Tkhilaishvili, 5 Konstantin
Mikautadze, 4 Giorgi Nemsadze, 3 Davit Zirakashvili, 2 Jaba Bregvadze, 1
Mikheil Nariashvili. Substitutes: 16
Shalva Mamukashvili, 17 Karlen Asieshvili, 18 Anton Peikrishvili, 19 Levan
Datunashvili, 20 Lasha Lomidze, 21 Giorgi Begadze, 22 Giorgi Aptsiauri, 23 Beka
15 Chrysander Botha,
14 David Philander, 13 Danie Van Wyk, 12 Darryl de la Harpe, 11 Russel van Wyk,
10 Theuns Kotze, 9 Eugene Jantjies, 8 Renaldo Bothma, 7 Tinus du Plessis, 6
Jacques Burger (captain), 5 Tjiuee Uanivi, 4 PJ van Lill, 3 Raoul Larson, 2
Torsten Van Jaarsveld, 1 Johnny Redelinghuys. Substitutes: 16 Louis van der Westhuizen, 17 Jaco Engels, 18
Johannes Coetzee, 19 Wian Conradie, 20 Rohan Kitshoff, 21 Johan Tromp, 22
Damian Stevens, 23 Heinrich Smit
Referee: George Clancy (Ireland)
Romain Poite (France), Stuart Berry (South Africa)
TMO: Shaun Veldsman (South Africa)
Venue: Sandy Park, Exeter.