Georgia blank Canada

Fullback Merab Kvirkashvili was the sole point-scorer as Georgia defeated Canada 13-0 in Calgary on Saturday.

Twelfth in the World Rugby rankings, Georgia were always favourites against Canada, who are ranked 23rd. But that the Maple Leafs would be kept scoreless at home was unexpected.

Kvirkashvili kicked two penalties either side of the break, and a self-converted try late in the game to seal the victory for Georgia.

Despite the heavy rainfall, Georgia controlled the game from the start and when Canada were penalised, Kvirkashvili slotted an early penalty goal to break the deadlock. There would be no more points scored as Georgia held a slender 3-0 advantage at half-time.

The second half also belonged to the visitors as Kvirkashvili slotted a 46th-minute kick to extend his team’s lead. But Canada did well to stay in the contest by keeping it down to a one-score difference.

Canada made several changes and when Aaron Carpenter came on, he equalled Canada’s record for most Test caps (76), held by Al Charron.

As the hosts pushed for a try to get within a point of Georgia on the scorecard, with a conversion to come. Kvirkashvili then put the game beyond reach when he darted over in the 77th minute for a self-converted effort.

Georgia – Try: Merab Kvirikashvili. Conversion: Kvirikashvili. Penalties: Kvirikashvili (2).

Canada – 15 Andrew Coe, 14 Dan Moor, 13 Conor Trainor, 12 Guiseppe Du Toit, 11 Sean Duke, 10 Shane O’Leary, 9 Phil Mack, 8 Admir Cejvanovic, 7 Matt Heaton, 6 Kyle Baillie, 5 Conor Keys, 4 Brett Beukeboom (c), 3 Jake Ilnicki, 2 Benoit Piffero, 1 Djustice Sears-Duru.
Subs: 16 Eric Howard, 17 Anthony Luca, 18 Matt Tierney, 19 Liam Chisholm, 20 Aaron Carpenter, 21 Andrew Ferguson, 22 Gradyn Bowd, 23 Ciaran Hearn.

Georgia – 15 Merab Kvirikashvili, 14 Soso Matiashvili, 13 David Kacharava, 12 Merab Sharikadze (c), 11 Sandro Todua, 10 Lasha Khmaladze, 9 Vasil Lobzhanidze, 8 Beka Bitsadze, 7 Giorgi Tkhilaishvili, 6 Lasha Lomidze, 5 Kote Mikautadze, 4 Giorgi Nemsadze, 3 Anton Peikrishvili, 2 Jaba Bregvadze, 1 Mikheil Nariashvili.
Subs: 16 Badri Alkhazashvili, 17 Kakha Asieshvili, 18 Soso Bekoshvili, 19 Nodar Cheishvili, 20 Otar Giorgadze, 21 Giorgi Begadze, 22 Lasha Malaghiradze, 23 Giorgi Chkhaidze.

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Mariette Adams