Georgia clinch historic victory over Namibia
September 26, 2007
Georgia winger Irakli Machkhaneli celebrates on his way to scoring
© Getty Images
Georgia powered to their first ever Rugby World Cup victory with a comprehensive 30-0 triumph over Namibia in their Pool D clash in Lens. Georgia cruised to a first World Cup win after dominating this afternoon's Pool D clash with Namibia.
Tries from Akvsenti Giorgadze, Irakli Machkhaneli Davit Kacharava and 15 points from the boot of Merab Kvirikashvili were enough for a comfortable victory.
Fresh from almost springing the biggest shock in World Cup history against Ireland 11 days ago, Georgia head coach Malkhaz Cheishvili nevertheless elected to make eight changes to his side.
Cheishvili's men went ahead through Kvirikashvili's seventh-minute penalty and attempted to double their lead 15 minutes in when full-back Malkhaz Urjukashvili foolishly tried a long-range drop goal.
Kvirikashvili had a more routine opportunity to make it 6-0 in the 23rd minute but sent his penalty wide.
Namibian indiscipline gave him the chance to put that right two minutes later from a more central position and this time the fly-half made no mistake.
Georgia let their opponents back into the game when a terrible spill under a high ball saw them eventually concede a penalty.
But Namibia fly-half Tertius Losper pushed his kick just wide from the left.
What had been an attritional game suddenly sprang to life when wing Machkhaneli chased a kick over the top but Namibia scrambled to clear yards from their line.
However, they eventually buckled under the pressure of Georgia's forwards, who maintained possession late in the half before hooker Giorgadze drove over for the try. Kvirikashvili converted.
The same player missed his second kick of the afternoon six minutes after the restart after Namibia were penalised for hands in the ruck.
Georgia continued to dominate up front but were lacking the necessary penetration to add to their tally.
Kvirikashvili decided to try his luck with a penalty from inside his own half but it dropped well short.
Namibia finally got themselves into the Georgia 22, winning a penalty they decided to kick to touch, but it came to nothing.
And Kvirikashvili made them pay with another penalty after Namibia were caught offside.
A few moments later, the game was over when Machkhaneli knocked the ball from Heini Bock's grasp and sprinted clear to score under the posts. Kvirikashvili kicked the simplest of conversions.
Namibia came close to a consolation but Kacharava broke clear in injury-time to wrap up the convincing win and Kvirikashvili added the extras.
Georgia (13) 30
Namibia (0) 0
Georgia: Urjukashvili, Machkhaneli, Kacharava, I. Guiorgadze, Shkinin, Kvirikashvili, Abusseridze, Shvelidze, A. Guiorgadze, Zirakashvili, Datunashvili, Gorgodze, Labadze, Urushadze, Chkhaidze.
Replacements: Khinchagishvili, Kopaliana, Didebulidze, Udesiani, Samkharadze, Gigauri, Khamashuridze.
Namibia: Bock, Witbooi, van Zyl, Powell, Langenhoven, Schreuder, van Tonder, Lensing, Horn, Visser, Kazombiaze, Senekal, Nieuwenhuis, Burger, du Plessis.
Replacements: Meyer, Redelinghuys, du Toit, Esterhuize, Jantjies, Africa, Kamonga.
Referee: S Walsh (New Zealand)
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