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Hello, good afternoon and thanks s much for joining our liveblog of Ireland-Georgia.

If intense, meaningful international Test matches are what you’re after then… well, this may not be you’re day. But we will at least get to see if Andy Farrell’s side can hit a rhythm and if a few potential breakthrough talents can further their claim.

Kick-off at the Aviva is coming up in 25 minutes. Here are your teams for the Test.


15. Jacob Stockdale
14. Hugo Keenan
13. Chris Farrell
12. Stuart McCloskey
11. Keith Earls
10. Billy Burns
9. Conor Murray

1. Finlay Bealham
2. Rob Herring
3. Andrew Porter
4. Iain Henderson
5. James Ryan (captain)
6. Tadhg Beirne
7. Will Connors
8. CJ Stander


16. Dave Heffernan 
17. Cian Healy
18. John Ryan
19. Quinn Roux
20. Peter O’Mahony
21. Kieran Marmion
22. Ross Byrne
23. Shane Daly


15: Soso Matiashvili;

14: Akaki Tabutsadze

13: Giorgi Kveseladze

12: Merab Sharikadze (captain)

11: Tamaz Mchedlidze

10: Tedo Abzhandadze

9: Vasil Lobzhanidze

1: Mikheil Nariashvili

2: Shalva Mamukashvili

3: Beka Gigashvili

4: Nodar Cheishvili

5: Lasha Jaiani

6: Beka Saginadze

7: Tornike Jalagonia

8: Beka Gorgadze.

Replacements: Giorgi Chkoidze, Lexo Kaulashvili, Giorgi Melikidze, Giorgi Javakhia, Mikheil Gachechiladze, Mikheil Alania, Demur Tapladze, David Niniashvili.

Referee: Mathieu Raynal [FFR].

The teams are on Lansdowne Road, there will be a moment’s silence – if they can shut off the fake crowd noise – to mark the tragic death of Christophe Dominici.


Ireland in their fetching black and bright yellow/green flecked camo get us under way, Billy Burns kicking to the Georgia 22.

Oof. Chris Farrell has made his presence felt on the game, a Burns chip over the top was taken, but Farrell cemented the man and ball with a tackle to dislodge the ball.

With ireland in possession, Farrell then grubbered for the try-line. Lobzhanidze was there to cover again, but he limps away from touching down after beating Keenan to the loose ball.

3 mins: The worries over Ireland’s line-out are eased early on by a clean take from Tadhg Beirne, but when it comes time for the other set-piece the makeshift loosehead Finlay Bealham is penalised.

7 mins: Tadhg Beirne’s turnover game is firing and the Munster man comes up with a poach to get Ireland attacking in the final third. Unfortunately, Jacob Stockdale’s confidence is certainly not at at an all-time high, he fluffs an attempted grubber to the corner.

The finishing touch on the score is an absolutely gorgeous reverse offload from Chris Farrell to give Burns a chance to deliver his best Johnny Sexton impression and he races onto the loop play and over the line.

CJ Stander made some of the big gains in front of the posts after a line-out to help set the platform for Farrell’s exquisite assist.

Burns adds the extras.

Ireland 7 Georgia 0

PENALTY! Ireland 10 Georgia 0 (Burns ’13)

Stander and Beirne force a breakdown penalty just outside the 22 and they opt to edge the lead to 10 points with a straightforward penalty despite the line-out looking sharp so far.

A sensational try tears Ireland’s defence up. Kveseladze takes a sharp reverse pass in midfield, blasts through a gap between Beirne and Stander, then sells Jacob Stockdale an outrageous dummy and slips by Billy Burns to slide under the posts.

Neil Doak will be very pleased with that one.

Ireland 10 Georgia 7

20 mins: There’s the Jacob Stockdale we know, jinking in space on the left and chipping – in familiar fashion – to that far left corner.

The fullback Matiashvili, whose pass unlocked the Ireland defence for the try, is there to deny Earls running onto a try.

PENALTY: Ireland 13 Georgia 7 (Burns ’23)

Ireland content to keep the scoreboard pressure going with another straight-on penalty around the 22 from Burns. All 13 points are courtesy of the Bath native.

29 mins:  Stockdale looking bright in attack again for Ireland and there is nice kick variation that ultimately leads to a five metre attacking scrum after a crooked Georgia throw. Big chance for Ireland’s pack to make this a two-score game approaching half-time.

31 mins: Conor Murray is eager to play with an advantage off the scrum, but there’s none coming so Burns kicks for a line-out.

Maul set, Conor Murray’s in amongst it, but…. held up.

TMO is checking if Herring got the ball on the line, there is a hint of it but Raynal could not be better positioned to judge.

Hugo Keenan gets over for another international try. Ireland went left off a right-hand scrum, but found their path clogged up as the tight five tried to wriggle their way to the line.

Murray hits Burns deep and the 10 does a fine job of inviting Stockdale into the line and he zips an excellent long pass to Keenan in the right corner.

Burns strikes the conversion well and brings Ireland’s lead to 13.

Ireland 20 Georgia 7

The halfway line is counting against McCloskey’s try now and it’s been chalked off.

Ireland 20 Georgia 7

It had appeared on first glance to be another brilliant long, flat pass from Stockdale. But ‘flat’ was forward according to Raynal and it’s tough to argue the case when it starts behind the halfway line and hits the target the other side.

Ireland are held up again as they mounted one last attack of the first half. A pretty new Ireland side look quite fluid in parts and have created some good chances, but that excellent Georgia score means the game can’t be counted as over just yet.

The second half is up and running. John Ryan is in the game for the second half and Andrew Porter is given a rest.

He’s called to action with an early midfield scrum and Ireland look to attack wide off it, there’s no gain though and we’ll be packing down again due to a forward pass.

44 mins: Billy Burns heads for the sideline with a medic again, so Ross Byrne is in the game.

Burns has gone really well today, looks the part in an attack trying to play with a high tempo.


PENALTY! Ireland 20 Georgia 10 (Abzhandadze ’48)

Georgia still looking hungry to contest on the ground and they react with massive cheers at the award of a penalty, which Abzhanadze strikes cleanly to reel Ireland within 10.

52 mins: Ireland struggling to pick up the rhythm they did manage to build in the first half. Georgia will be content to let this match slide into the mire if they can keep nudging closer.

56 mins: Georgia celebrate a big scrum penalty inside their own 22. Bealham is again the man penalised and the visitors kick to relieve pressure.

57 mins: Andy Farrell responds by sending in the most tried and trusted loosehead in, Cian Healy runs into the fray.

Kieran Marmion is also in the game and Conor Murray heads for the bench and potentially a starting role against Scotland next week.

PENALTY! Ireland 23 Georgia 10 ( Byrne ’58)

Ross Byrne takes aim and just keeps the underdogs at arm’s length.

62 mins: A solid scrum for Ireland to attack off on the 22, Byrne chips over the top, but Will Connors is badly offside in the chase.

63 mins: CJ Stander shows his frustration at the sound of another whistle as he boots the ball from halfway as far as he can. There’s a bad injury to a Georgian player nearby though, audible roars of pain remind you just how punishing this sport is.

63 mins: Shane Daly is on for his international debut, he’ll have 18 minutes to make his mark in this one.

Keith Earls is the man to make way for his fellow Munster man.

65 mins:  Ireland’s second half stutters continue to the roars of Georgian approval as another penalty goes the visitors’ way and allows them to escape a bout of pressure.

66 mins: Here’s a big chance for Ieland to finally get their third try, a penalty for holding on from 40 out is converted to a line-out. The hosts go wide early again and Marmion is probing for gaps.

A grubber is sent through by Stockdale for Shane Daly to chase, and he is just beaten to the bounce.

Dave Heffernan is in the game, by the way. But Rob Herring remains at hooker and so the Connacht man is packing down on the openside flank.

Jerry Flannery is in the commentary team on Channel 4′s feed and he has just likened this match to a Schools Cup game between ‘a school with no rugby programme but a load of tough kids’ and a school with all the advantages but – and I’m not quoting him anynore here – a real lacklustre approach that means this game is still relatively tighter than expected.

The second half has been dire, 3-3 on the scoreboard.

78 mins: Peter O’Mahony is among the big carries as Ireland push for a late score but they are held short.

Iain Henderson is named man of the match and he stands in among this late attacking line-out.

Rob Herring is getting sideways glances from Raynal, but the doctor assures him he’s ok to continue and the line-out is finally taken.

79 mins: Clever line-out move brings Stander close to a try, but he’s held up after Henderson pivoted the set maul to invite Stander to carry.

Ireland looking desperate for a score now and keep sending CJ into crowded alleys. Which the Georgian defence is utterly relishing.

The breakdown penalty goes the way of the visitors and that looks like it’ll be that.

There you have it then, a decent first-half is followed by a fairly unwatchable second 40 and the reward is the prestige of an Autumn Nations Cup third-place play-off against Scotland next Saturday.

Gavin Cooney
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