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Dublin: 5 °C Saturday 23 March, 2019

Emerging Ireland claim Tbilisi Cup after win over hosts Georgia

Allen Clarke’s men kept their 100% record intact at Avchala Stadium.

Andrew Conway makes a break Ireland's Andrew Conway makes a break. Source: GRU/INPHO

Updated at 20.10

Emerging Ireland 45-12 Georgia

EMERGING IRELAND MADE it three wins from three in the 2015 World Rugby Tbilisi Cup today.

Having already assured themselves of lifting the trophy thanks to convincing victories over Emerging Italy and Uruguay, head coach Allen Clarke made nine changes to their starting line-up with Munster’s Billy Holland captaining the team.

Georgia got off to a strong start with a sixth-minute try from Lasha Lomidze but JJ Hanrahan responded with a penalty before a converted penalty try handed Ireland a 10-5 lead heading into half-time at Avchala Stadium.

The second half was a much more one-sided affair as Matt Healy, Eoghan Masterson, John Cooney, Andrew Conway and Finlay Bealham all scored tries and Hanrahan followed up with five more successful conversions.

Georgian replacement lock Otar Giorgadze also touched down for the host on 55 minutes but Ireland ran out comfortable winners.

A view of a scrum Source: GRU/INPHO

IRELAND: Tiernan O’Halloran; Andrew Conway, Stuart McCloskey, Noel Reid, Matt Healy; JJ Hanrahan, Luke McGrath; James Cronin, Rob Herring, Stephen Archer, Ben Marshall, Billy Holland (c), Eoghan Masterson, Dan Leavy, Jack Conan.

Replacements: Andrew Browne for Holland (7 mins), John Cooney for McGrath  (half-time), Denis Buckley for Cronin (half-time), Eoin Griffin for McCloskey (58), Peter Nelson for Reid (68), Frankie Taggart for Marshall (70), Dave Heffernan for Herring (73), Finlay Bealham for Archer (73).

GEORGIA: Beka Tsiklauri; Alexandre Khutsishvili, Revaz Gigauri, Tamaz Mchedlidze, Giorgi Pruidze; Mamuka Ninidze, Giorgi Begadze; Zurab Zhvania, Simon Maisuradze, Anton Peikrishvili, Levan Datunashvili (c), Konstantine Mikautadze, Beka Bitsadze, Giorgi Chkhaidze, Lasha Lomidze.

Replacements: Otar Giorgadze for Datunashvili (10 mins), Saba Shubititdze for Lomidze (31), Jaba Bregvadze for Maisuradze, Irakli Mirtskhulava for Peikrishvili (both 48), Irakli Svanidze for Pruidze (58), Vazha Khutsishvili for Begadze (63), Giorgi Tetrashvili for Zhvania (73). Not used: Giorgi Aptsiauri.

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Ben Blake

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