Georgia claimed their first win at the World Cup when they beat Romania 25-9 in Palmerston North.
Although the result had no influence on who qualifies to the second round from Pool B, there was still great anticipation ahead of this fixture as full house crowd was present at the Manawatu Arena to watch the clash of the European minnows. Both nations displayed some brave performances earlier in the tournament, with Georgia impressing against England while Romania resisted Scotland for most parts of that fixture.
Both teams were confident of achieving victory, but in the end it was Georgia who triumphed with a strong second-half showing. A try form talisman Mamuka Gorgodze and eight points from the boot through flyhalf Merab Kvirikashvili and his replacement Malkhaz Urjukashvili was enough to seal a good win for the Le Lelos – only their second World Cup win ever.
Surprisingly, it were the Oaks who started better. There was a big battle between the forwards, and Romania held the ascendancy up front in the opening moments and dominated the scrums. The Georgian heavies fought their way back into the contest, and their opponents leaked penalties as a result. It turned the first stanza into a kicking contest, with pivots Kvirikashvili and Danut Dumbrava trading penalties for a 12-6 scoreline at half-time in Georgia’s favour.
The backs had a bigger part to play in the second half, but Georgia scored their try through the forwards. After several pick up and drives from the breakdown, Gorgodze powered over near the posts. Romania could only score a penalty through replacement fullback Florin Vlaicu as they faded after the break.
By Gareth Duncan