Georgia edge out rivals Romania
September 28, 2011
Romania's Florin Surugiu is shackled by the Georgia defence
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Georgia picked up their first win of the World Cup with a comfortable 25-9 victory over rivals Romania in a Pool B basement battle in Palmerston North.
Outstanding flanker Mamuka Gorgodze grabbed the only try of the game for Georgia as fly-half Merab Kvirikashvili added the conversion and five penalties, with replacement Malkhaz Urjukashvili also contributing a three-pointer. Dan Dumbrava (2) and Florin Vaicu kicked Romania's three penalties but they will end the tournament winless after losing four from four.
Georgia, who had proved so impressive in their defeats to Scotland and England, got an ideal start as Kvirikashvili gave them an eighth-minute lead with a long-range penalty, although it was quickly cancelled out by Dumbrava.
Two soft penalties around the half-hour mark allowed Kvirikashvili to open up a 9-3 lead as firstly the chasers of a kick ahead were caught offside before Daniel Carpo needlessly played the ball on the ground.
Dumbrava replied with his second three-pointer but Kvirikashvili had the last word of the first half with his fourth penalty. And the decisive blow was struck shortly before the hour mark as Georgia worked their way through the phases for Gorgodze to burst through a tackle and reach out to score, with Kvirikashvili adding the extras.
Kvirikashvili added another penalty with ten minutes to go to put the result beyond doubt. Vaicu kicked Romania's third penalty but the Georgians deservedly rounded off a fine victory by registering the last score through Urjukashvili's penalty.
Georgia, coached by Scotland's Richie Dixon, could do their boss' fellow countryman a favour if they can cause a major upset against Argentina in their final pool clash at the same venue on Sunday.
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As Ewen McKenzie exits stage left, the ARU remains under huge pressure, with CEO Bill Pulver feeling the brunt of Australian rugby's displeasure, Greg Growden writes