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Friday 3 February 2023 Dublin: 11°C
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Ireland overpowered by great Georgian side at U20 World Cup
The defeat leaves Ireland, who also lost all three pool matches last summer, facing a possible relegation from the tournament.

Ireland U20  20

Georgia U20  24

John Fallon reports from Narbonne

A POOR SHOWING at the World Rugby U20 Championship by Ireland took a nosedive in Narbonne today as they were outclassed by Georgia.

Ireland will now face into the battle for 9th to 12th spots in the concluding two matches next week — with the bottom placed team being relegated to the World Trophy for next season.

Ireland were always chasing the game but were out-muscled by an excellent Georgian side who celebrated at the end as if they had won the World Cup.

But they were full value for their win against an Irish side who just never got going, with two late tries only serving to suggest it was a close game

Sandro Mamatavrishvili receives a yellow card ©INPHO Mamatavrishvili receives a yellow card. ©INPHO

A try from out-half Conor Dean seven minutes from the break gave Ireland some hope but they still went in trailing 17-8 after a poor opening half.

The basic errors, particularly in handling, which were costly in the opening round defeats to France and South Africa, continued and Georgia made them pay.

In contrast, the Georgians were much more precise in everything they, with a fast and slick backline augmented an expected strong pack.

Georgia got ahead after eleven minutes when lock Arsen Machaladze scored after a neat inside pass from superb scrum-half Gela Aprasidze.

Dean pulled back a penalty from 47 metres after 13 minutes, but Aprasidze quickly cancelled it.

Conor Dean scores a try ©INPHO Out-half Conor Dean sneaks over for a hard-won try. ©INPHO

Ireland were given hope when Georgian flanker Sandro Mamamtavrishville was yellow-carded for a high tackle on Irish full-back Peter Sylvester but a pass from centre James Hume was intercepted by Sandro Svanidze and he ran from his own 22 to score under the posts, with Aprasidze’s conversion making it 17-3.

A nine-phase movement was eventually finished by Dean to give them hope before the break but Georgia struck again four minutes after the restart with a move that started inside their own 22 and was finished by out-half Tedo Abzhandadze when he chased an infield grubber from right winger Demur Tapladze.

Ireland, having had three tries ruled out by the TMO, did manage to finish well with replacement hooker Dan Sheehan getting over for a late try and replacement tighthead, Polish-born Kuba Wojtkowicz, scored in the final play in what was his Irish debut.

Noel McNamara’s men will be back in action to chase a 9th-place finish on Tuesday.

Scorers for Georgia

Tries: Arsen Machaladze, Sandro Svanidze, Tedo Abzhandadze

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Penalties: Gela Aprasidze 1 / 1

Conversions: Gela Aprasidze 3 / 3

Scorers for Ireland

Tries: Conor Dean, Dan Sheehan, Jakub Wojtkowicz

Penalties: Conor Dean 1 / 1

Conversions: Conor Dean 0 / 1, Harry Byrne 1 / 2

Georgia: Beka Mamukashvili; Demur Tapladze, Sandro Svanidze (Lasha Lomidze 40), Giorgi Tsiklauri (Kote Marjanishvili 64), Otar Dzagnidze; Tedo Abzhandadze, Gela Aprasidze; Guram Gogichashvili (Giorgi Nutsubidze 66), Levan Papidze (Tengizi Zamtaradze 67), Luka Japaridze (Gia Kharaishvili 67); Beka Saghinadze, Arsen Machaladze; Sandro Mamamtavrishvili (Lasha Jaiani 66), Archil Abesadze (Tengiz Gigolashvili 39), Tornike Jalagonia.

Ireland: Peter Sylvester (UCC RFC / Munster); Peter Sullivan (Lansdowne/Leinster), Tommy O’Brien (UCD RFC/Leinster) (James McCarthy (UL Bohemian RFC/Munster 45), James Hume (Banbridge RFC/Ulster), Sean O’Brien (Clontarf FC/Leinster); Conor Dean (St Mary’s College RFC/Leinster) (Harry Byrne (UCD RFC/Leinster 57), Hugh O’Sullivan (Clontarf FC/Leinster) (Jonny Stewart (QUB RFC/Ulster 67); Jordan Duggan (Naas RFC/Leinster) (Bryan O’Connor (UCC RFC/Munster 71), Diarmuid Barron (Garryowen FC/Munster) (Dan Sheehan (Dublin University FC/Leinster 71), Jack Aungier (St Mary’s College RFC/Leinster) (Jakub Wojtkowicz (Sligo/Connacht 71); Matthew Dalton (Malone RFC/Ulster) (Cormac Daly (Clontarf FC/Leinster 62), Jack Dunne (Dublin University FC/Leinster); Aaron Hall (Ballynahinch RFC/Ulster) (Matthew Agnew (Ballymena RFC/Ulster 60), Jack Daly (Garryowen FC/Munster), Caelan Doris (St Mary’s College RFC/Leinster).

Referee: Jamie Nutbrown (New Zealand).

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