David Kacharava scored a stoppage-time try to hand Georgia a dramatic 23-20 win over Tonga in Suva on Saturday.
Tonga led 20-16 with time up on the clock, but the gallant Lelos kept the ball alive and worked their way up to the tryline before Kacharava, the outside centre, breached Tonga’s defence for his second, match-winning try. Fullback Merab Kvirikashvili's successful conversion brought an end to an entertaining Test.
Earlier, Tonga scored two converted tries of their own through Viliame Iongi and replacement forward Sione Angaelangi, but their ill-discipline allowed Kvirikashvili to keep Georgia within touching distance with three penalty goals, while Kacharava also scored a try.
Georgia then put in a clinical defensive effort to keep the frustrated Tonga at bay, before Kacharava struck to snatch an impressive win for the Lelos.
Tonga – Tries: Viliame Iongi, Sione Angaelangi. Conversions: Latiume Fosita, Tane Takulua. Penalty: Takulua (2).
Georgia – Tries: David Kacharava (2). Conversions: Merab Kvirikashvili (2). Penalties: Kvirikashvili (3).
Tonga – 15 Tevita Halaifonua, 14 Otulea Katoa, 13 Apakuki Ma’afu, 12 Latiume Fosita, 11 Viliame Iongi, 10 Kali Hala, 9 Tane Takulua, 8 Sione Tau, 7 Jack Ram, 6 Nili Latu (C), 5 Dan Faleafa, 4 Uili Kolo’ofa’I, 3 Sione Faletau, 2 Elvis Taione, 1 Eddie Aholelei.
Subs: 16 Sosefo Sakalia, 17 Sione Angaelangi, 18 Sila Puafisi, 19 Opeti Fonua, 20 Steve Mafi, 21 Wayne Ngaluafe, 22 Viliami Hakalo, 23 Daniel Kilioni.
Georgia – 15 Merab Kvirikashvili, 14 Tamaz Mchedlidze, 13 David Kacharava, 12 Merab Sharikadze, 11 Sandro Todua, 10 Lasha Khmaladze, 9 Giorgi Begadze, 8 Beka Bitsadze, 7 Giorgi Tkhilaishvili, 6 Shalva Sutiashvili (c), 5 Giorgi Nemsadze, 4 Giorgi Chkhaidze, 3 Anton Peikrishvili, 2 Jaba Bregvadze, 1 Zurab Zhvania.
Subs: 16 Shalva Mamukashvili, 17 Karlen Asieshvili, 18 Mirtskhulashvili, 19 Nodar Cheishvili, 20 Lasha Lomidze, 21 Vazha Khutsishvili, 22 Lasha Malaghuradze, 23 Giorgi Pruidze.
Photo: Jules Annan/Getty Images