Saturday 4 February 2023 Dublin: 9°C
As it happened: England v Georgia
Martin Johnson’s team took on the World Cup minnows in their second game of the tournament. Revisit our minute-by-minute coverage here.

England played Georgia on the back of a difficult week for Martin Johnson’s side.

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Full time: England 41-10 Georgia

Hello again, England are all set take on Georgia. Here are the teams:

England: Ben Foden, Chris Ashton, Manu Tuilagi, Shontayne Hape, Delon Armitage, Toby Flood, Ben Youngs; Matt Stevens, Dylan Hartley, Dan Cole, Simon Shaw, Tom Palmer, Tom Wood, Lewis Moody (captain), James Haskell. Replacements: Steve Thompson, Alex Corbisiero, Tom Croft, Joe Simpson, Jonny Wilkinson, Matt Banahan.

Georgia: Revaz Gigauri, Irakli Machkhaneli, David Kacharava, Tedo Zibzibadze, Alexander Todua, Merab Kvirikashvili, Irakli Abuseridze (captain); David Khinchagishvili, Jaba Bregvadze, David Kubriashvili, Ilia Zedginidze, Vakhtang Maisuradze, Shalva Sutiashvili, Mamuka Gorgodze, Dimitri Basilaia. Replacements: Akvsenti Giorgadze, David Zirakashvili, Levan Datunashvili, Giorgi Chkhaidze, Bidzina Samkharadze, Givi Berishvili, Lasha Khmaladze.

Before the game starts, if you haven’t heard already, Ronan O’Gara has effectively announced his retirement from international rugby. Very strange timing if I may say so.

The game has begun.

Try for England!!!

ENGLAND 7-0 GEORGIA Hape takes advantage of Georgia dropping the ball and runs through unimpeded for the simplest of tries. Flood makes no mistake with the conversion.

So close. The Georgia winger dives for the line and seemingly scores the try, but his foot was in touch as he scored.

Georgia have not made a terrible start here, despite conceding the early try.


MISSED!!! Terrible kick from Kvirikashvili, as he drags a penalty (30 yards out) that’s straight in front of the posts to the left.

Georgia are putting England under some serious pressure. The current scoreline doesn’t reflect the game.


Kvirikashvili misses again. This one was much more difficult to be fair.

An interesting question is posed by Sam Peters on Twitter.

The Setanta commentator tellingly reminds viewers that Georgia are the team in red.

Brilliant kick from Kvirikashvili, as the ball goes out into touch inside the England 22.


ENGLAND 14-0 GEORGIA: Clinical from England. Toby Flood makes a break and some desperate Georgian tackling cannot prevent the ball from reaching Hape, who crosses over for his second try of the game. Flood scores an easy conversion. Very harsh on Georgia, who have looked very good at times, but have been naive in defence.

PENALTY MISSED!!! Kvirikashvili again drags a very kickable penalty to the left.

PENALTY!!! A dangerous tackle by Tuilagi, and he is lucky to escape a yellow.

ENGLAND 14-3 GEORGIA: Kvirikashvili scores his first penalty out of four attempts. That’s the least Georgia deserve, given that 87% of the game has been played in England’s half.

For all Georgia’s dominance, they seem incredibly vulnerable in defence. Every time England attack they look like scoring.

The ref is forced to stop play, after a member of the Georgian medical is almost knocked over by an England player, as he gives treatment to one of the Georgians.

ENGLAND 17-3 GEORGIA: Toby Flood successfully kicks a penalty from well out and slightly to the left of the posts. He has undoubtedly vindicated Johnson’s decision to start him.

Almost half time now. Georgia will be bitterly disappointed with the scoreline, when they consider how the match has panned out.

Another Georgian lineout in the English 22.


YELLOW CARD! Dylan Hartley is sin-binned after he is adjudged to have been slowing the ball down deliberately. England consequently make a substitution, with Thompson replacing Haskell.


ENGLAND 17-10 GEORGIA: Basilaia goes over the England try line, as Flood fails to hold him up. The conversion is scored easily. That’s the least that Georgia deserve.


Well, England secured an unconvincing win against Argentina, and the same appears to happening here. If they do win, of course, which is hardly a given at this stage.

Some team news from the Ireland camp via @MichaelC_RTE:

The second half is underway now.

Armitage seemingly scores, but like the Georgian in the first half, his foot is in touch as he dives for the try line – a let off for Georgia there.

England seem to be playing better with 14 men than they did with 15. They’re dominating possession in the opening stages of the second half.

Martin Johnson’s side now have a lineout in the Georgia 22.


Great rugby from England. They spread the ball to the wing and Dylan Armitage steps inside his marker to score. Toby Flood misses the conversion from a difficult angle.

Hartley comes back into the action for England, and Thompson is off again.

PENALTY FOR GEORGIA: Matt Stevens is penalised for not attempting to bind in the scrum.

MISSED: Kvirikashvili misses his fourth kick. A replacement at out-half is surely needed for Georgia.

PENALTY FOR GEORGIA!!! Straight in front of the posts. Kvirikashvili has to get this one.

Unbelievable, he hits the post. He’s got two kicks from seven now, and his confidence is dwindling.

ENGLAND SUBSTITUTION: Tom Croft replaces Lewis Moody.

England are penalised for infringing at the breakdown. They have conceded 14 penalties now. That’s poor discipline from Johnson’s side.

SUBSTITUTION FOR ENGLAND: Thompson has replaced Hartley again.

Even if England do emerge from this game as victors, their long-term tournament prospects are not good. They have played two poor games now.

TRY FOR ENGLAND!!! Tuilagi exploits space in the Georgia defence and Flood gets the conversion in front of the posts to make it 29-10.

An interesting point.


ENGLAND 36-10 GEORGIA: Breakaway from England and Ashton is able to comfortably run in under the posts. No mistake with the conversion from Flood, who has been one of England’s better performers.

Given that England look like they’re going to win this one, in addition to the increasingly likely possibility that a northern hemisphere team will reach the final, I thought I’d ask the unthinkable. Can England win the Rugby World Cup?

Poll Results:

No (25)
Only if their opponents underperform. (14)
Yes (4)

I forgot to mention, in case you hadn’t noticed, that England have now secured the bonus point.

Georgia, to their credit, are still pressurising England, forcing them to commit countless errors. They have enormous potential – they’re just prone to committing basic errors on occasion.

The pace that some of these World Cup matches have been played at is incredible, and this encounter is no exception. However, it’s finally beginning to hit a bit of a lull, as England look to see the game out.

Less than five minutes remaining now, as England threaten to add to their score.

Great passing and fluid play by England. The Georgians look tired. A try looks to have been scored, but is ruled out once more, following a forward pass in the build-up by Armitage.

Panicked play from Georgia as they pass it inside their 22 and eventually concede a scrum to England. It’s almost all over.


ENGLAND 41-10 GEORGIA: That really is cruel on Georgia. A popped pass from Foden to Ashton, and he dives in at the corner. The conversion is missed.


Georgia captain Irakli Abuseridze says:

It was a very tough game and very hard to recover from the Scotland game three days before. We need more games like this to get better.

Meanwhile, Lewis Moody admits England have a lot to improve upon and criticises his side’s tendency to give away too many penalties.

In summary, England will be relatively pleased with their performance, given that other top sides have had difficulties against the Georgians before, and in light of the disruptive controversy they had to deal with during the week.

Georgia, meanwhile, will take some positives from the game. As their captain said, they had far less time to recover from their previous match than England, and the score could have been much closer had their out-half not missed numerous kicks.

Matt Williams has just said that “you can accuse England of a lot of things, but humility is not one of them”.

Martin Johnson says it was a “frustrating” game for England and adds:

We need to get a lot better.

Okay, that’s it from me. Thanks for reading and keep the comments coming. We’ll be liveblogging the France-Canada game very shortly, and also don’t forget to check out our All-Ireland liveblog later today.

Read: As it happened: Wales v Samoa>

In photos: Ireland vs Australia>

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