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Dublin: 10 °C Sunday 13 October, 2019
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Good morning, rugby fans.

The bad news is that we can’t just skip right ahead to the quarter-final stage of the Rugby World Cup after Ireland demolished Scotland yesterday, there’s a wee bit to go before then.

The good news is that there is midweek rugby action afoot and the Grand Slam winners must navigate the tricky obstacle of Georgia, the regular noisy neighbours of the Six Nations sides.

 

Wales’ true pool-decider will of course come a little later against the Wallabies, but a fierce pack like Georgia – complete with the out-of-retirement Mamuka Gorgodze – could cause some real issues if Warren Gatland’s side are even a little disrupted by the loss of backs coach Rob Howley over a betting breach.

Here are the teams for today’s clash, Dan Biggar takes the reins at out-half with a powerful-looking back-line featuring Hadleigh Parkes, Jon Davies, George North and the wonderful Liam Williams.

Wales:

Wyn Jones, Ken Owens, Tom Francis, Jake Ball, Alun Wyn Jones (capt.), Aaron Wainwright, Justin Tipuric, Josh Navidi.

Gareth Davies, Dan Biggar, Josh Adams, Hadleigh Parkes, Jonathan Davies, George North, Liam Williams. 

Replacements: Elliot Dee, Nicky Smith, Dillon Lewis, Aaron Shingler, Ross Moriarty, Tomos Williams, Rhys Patchell, Leigh Halfpenny.

Georgia

Mikheil Nariashvili (capt.), Shalva Mamukashvili, Beka Gigashvili, Giorgi Nemsadze, Konstantine Mikautadze, Giorgi Tkhilaishvili, Mamuka Gorgodze, Beka Gorgadze.

Vasil Lobzhanidze, Tedo Abzhandadze, Giorgi Kveseladze, Tamaz Mchedlidze, David Kacharava, Miriani Modebadze, Soso Matiashvili.

Replacements:

Jaba Bregvadze, Guram Gogichashvili, Levan Chilachava, Shalva Sutiashvili, Beka Saginadze, Otari Giorgadze, Gela Aprasidze, Lasha Khmaladze

The bookmakers don’t give the Tier 2 much hope here, with a spread sitting at 27 points.

They’re playing under a roof in Toyota City too, so Wales will feel right at home and if they can get their tempo set nice and high they could do a job in moving around those big Georgian units.

Nice shot of Stephen Jones seated next to big Warren G there after the anthems. How will the attack he now presides over fare?

Kick-off is here.

2Mins

The grand old man Mamuka Gorgodze knock-on from the kick-off into the Georgia 22 and Wales have an ideal starting position.

2Mins

Wales try to move it very quick, Jon Davies raids the short side and the ball is stripped from him as he takes contact.

3Mins

Well that’s a shocking way to start for Georgia. Wales go hard at the line off the second scrum and Gareth Davies spins a nice flat pass to Jon Davies and he goes under the posts untouched.

Dan Biggar’s conversion attempt is woeful as the Georgian first phase defence and it pings off the bar.

4Mins

Controversy ahoy.

Luke Pearce has had a good long look at an aerial contest between Josh Adams and Kveseladze.

The Georgian wing took a bad fall after the contest, but the referee deemed the contact legal – and did so again after the TMO asked if he was happy with the pull on the arm Adams did on his opposite number.

Lucky welsh boy, you’d have to say.

7Mins

PENALTY! Wales 8 Georgia 0 (Biggar ’7)

A double kick in the teeth for Georgia then as the lead is extended on Wales’ next attack.

15Mins

Another very incisive set move from Wales, Gareth Davies is slipped through the gap and he raids for the 22. Jon Davies is in support and though they don’t score without being tackled this time, Justin Tipuric is quick on the scene to finish the move off under the posts.

I’ve learned my lesson of not counting a Dan Biggar conversion until it’s over the bar, and the 10 manages to keep his concentration and slot a second kick from three attempts.

Wales 15 Georgia 0

16Mins

Are you hearing those screams or is it just me?

There are Ned Flanders-esque exclaims of excitement coming from the stands when Wales go on the attack.

We were braced for another one a moment ago when Liam Williams collected deep in his own half and mounted a counter in the mold of Lions 2017.

Mikautadze came to our eardrums’ rescue with a solid hit.

20Mins

TRY! Wales 20 Georgia 0 (Adams ’20)

22Mins

That simple reverse pass off 10 is just killing Georgia. Biggar slips Josh Adams through the gap and there’s not a glove put on him as he slips towards the left touchline to score.

Biggar converts from wide out, he’s fine on those. It’s the straightforward close range ones he has trouble with.

Wales 22 Georgia 0

26Mins

Georgia finally begin to find their feet. Lobzhanidze takes the ball on after a midfield break.

Tkhilaishvili looks for a pass back inside, but it’s cut out by Gareth Davies and the TMO is looking at whether it’s worth a card.

26Mins

After a TMO check, Luke Pearce decides that Davies’ intervention wasn’t worth a yellow and wasn’t even a knock on.

Scrum Georgia.

30Mins

Georgia’s scrum is in fine fettle at least, though they get a call to use it and mount an attack on the right wing, with Tkhilaishvili cutting back in.

There’s another attack stopped dead in its tracks by a Welsh knock on. This one looks a lot more accidental.

The resulting scrum yields a penalty Graham Rowntree’s pack.

32Mins

22 down, so kicking at goal wasn’t going to get Georgia far. They scrum again and mount a set of pick and drive phases across the park.

It’s meat and drink fro this Welsh defence though and the pressure is eased by a knock on from Kveseladze while taking a big hit from Navidi.

33Mins

The very odd sight there of Jonathan Davies storming in from behind the Georgia scrum-half to steal a ball.

Luke Pearce may be being lenient with Wales, but not that lenient.

Though the Welsh D was pretty adamant the ball was out under Lobzhanidze’s legs.

40Mins

There’s the killer blow and the bonus-point win for Wales.

Jon Davies is put through another gap and Georgia have no answer for them when they do get through, the centre looks like he may have gone himself for the line, but he flings a pass left and Liam Williams picks it up on the bounce.

Biggar’s goal-kicking has been spot on since his early brainfart too.

HALF-TIME: Wales 29 Georgia 0

40Mins

Here comes the second half then, will Wales ease off the pedal and can Georgia mount some sort of challenge in this second period?

42Mins

It’s already better for Georgia, they get that formidable eight-man unit rumbling in the maul and milk a penalty from Wales.

And back they go to the corner for another round.

42Mins

The hooker Mamukashvili had the ball at the pack of a promising maul effort there and it looks like he’s got the ball over and down.

43Mins

TRY! Wales 29 Georgia 5 (Mamukashvili ’43)

44Mins

There is a disconcerting level of celebration about Toyota Stadium as Georgia finally get on the board.

Abzhandadze adds the conversion and the spread is suddenly in jeopardy again.

Wales 29 Georgia 7

47Mins

Wales think they have a try, and it’s a shame it’s chalked off for knock-on, because it was a gorgeous one.

Attacking from the corner on the 5, Wales went wide to Biggar and the 10 chipped at the posts. It looked out of reach for Liam Williams, but Liam Williams being Liam Williams he accelerated and propelled his body into a dive to take the ball in and dot down.

But that’s all worthless information really, the TMO goes back to have a gander at the Georgian maul D and decides on a yellow card.

SIN-BIN: Jaba Bregvadze

50Mins

Nothing inventive from the next Wales attack, they inch forward with pick and drives, only getting shoved back by a tremendous man and ball hit by David Kacharava.

On they rumble, though, until Biggar’s big wind-up pass is cut out and intercepted by Modebadze.

Good hands to take the ball in from point-blank range.

54Mins

Back come Wales after a reprieve for the 14 men. They’re deep in Georgia’s 22 and hammering away at the collisions again until a sharp blow of the whistle stops the game for an injury to Ken Owens.

Here’s hoping the hooker isn’t as badly off as this looks.

56Mins

Scratch that, Owens appeared to be writhing in agony, but he has hopped up to pack down in the next scrum.

58Mins

There’s a turn up for the books, Georgia don’t concede during the sin-bin period. Bregvadze is back in business.

66Mins

The match was threatening to fizzle out in this half until a surge from Georgia seemed to wake the Dragon.

On Turnover ball, Tipuric attacked the right channel in his own half and took a heavy tackle while offloading to North.

The wing kicked long ahead at the posts and the supporting scrum-half Tomos Williams won the race to the loose ball under the posts.

Wales 36 Georgia 7

70Mins

There’s a sharp upturn in tempo from Georgia and they get the reward after a series of pick and goes as Levan Chilachava gets over the line.

TRY! Wales 36 Georgia 14 (Chilachava ’70)

72Mins

The Japanese crowd really seem to love an underdog (and Ireland and the All Blacks) there are delirious roars of excitement whenever Georgia generate any forward momentum and force red jerseys backwards.

Fortunately, Wales aren’t the type of accomodating lads who would think twice about pooping a party.

75Mins

TRY! Wales 41 Georgia 14 (North ’75)

78Mins

That was an exciting passage of play. Big shot goes in from Jon Davies to force a turnover. Wales kick long and put Georgia under pressure on the try-line, but they clear their lines well.

Unfortunately for them, Tomos Williams is in inspired form as he runs the ball back; stepping, weaving and ducking through tackles before offloading back for North, who gets through the remaining tacklers a different way as he forces his way to the line.

Wales 43 Georgia 14

There goes the gong, but Georgia have time for one last attack… but it’s stopped at source and Rhys Patchell can simply turn and tap the ball out the back of the pitch.

FULL-TIME: Wales 43 Georgia 14

About the author:

Sean Farrell

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