Sunday, March 22, 2009

Test Rugby: Georgia v Russia Updated again!

Georgia v Russia in Mariupol (Ukraine) (WCQ Euro. R1; ENC 1)

I managed to get the wrong day published for this game. It is to be played Sunday, not Saturday.

Ilichovets Stadium, in Mariupol, which is in the Donesk Region, in the Ukraine on the coast of the Azov Sea.

Mariupol in the Ukraine right by the sea. Image thanks to

This test match is hugely important in the world of rugby. Perhaps not as important as the 6 Nations Ireland v Wales test match but it's still well up there.

Firstly the match is being played on neutral territory following the brief war between Georgia and Russia last year. Feelings will naturally be high between these teams. Both teams are also undefeated at this stage of the competition so the winner will have a points advantage going into next seasons second leg.

The Russians missed qualifying for the 2007 Rugby World Cup whilst Georgia and Romania went through. The Russians are determined to make sure they go through but it will probably be at the expense of either Romania or Georgia who have both been to World Cup finals.

The Russians have spent the last week in training in Turkey before heading to the Ukraine.

Georgia has played better away this season from the pressure of their home crowds. They defeated Romania 28-23 last weekend and overwhelmed Spain 55-11 two weeks ago.

Last Five Encounters
12.04.2008 Georgia 18-12 in Krasnodar (ENC 1)
24.03.2007 Georgia 31-12 in Tblissi (ENC 1)
04.02.2006 Georgia 46-19 in Tblissi (ENC 1)
20.11.2004 Georgia 27-15 in Krasnodar (ENC 1)
06.03.2004 Georgia 9-3 in Tblissi (ENC 1)

Georgia has always held a distinct advantage over Russia on past results. Russia and Georgia first met in 1993 with the Russians winning in Gdansk, Poland and a World Cup qualifying match. That was the first and only time
the Russians have defeated their Georgian neighbours.

GWC Rugby Rankings: World Table-Georgia 15th, Russia 17th
Europe Table-Georgia 7th, Russia 9th

Prediction: Georgia by 5 points.



15 Merab KVIRIKASHVILI Massy FRA Age 26, 32 Tests
14 Irakli MACHKHANELI Agen FRA 28, 32
13 David KATCHARAVA Enissei RUS 24, 25
12 Irakli GUIORGADZE Dax FRA 27, 34
11 Malkhaz URJUKASHVILI Aurillac FRA 29, 57
10 Lasha MALAGHURADZE Beziers FRA 23, 14
9 Irakli ABUSSERIDZE [Capt] Orleans FRA 32, 58
8 Mamuka GORGODZE Montpellier FRA 25, 33
7 George CHKHAIDZE Metro Racing FRA 28, 33
6 Guia LABADZE Toulon FRA 36, 51
5 Levan DATUNASHVILI Aurillac FRA 26, 26
4 Ilia ZEDGUINIDZE Aix FRA 33, 52
3 Goderdzi SHVELIDZE Montauban FRA 31, 50
2 Irakli NATRIASHVILI Farul ROM 25, 16
16 Anton PEIKRISHVILI Agen FRA 22, 3
17 Dudu KUBRIASHVILI Toulon FRA 23, 8
18 Rati URUSHADZE Enissei RUS 34, 35
19 Dimitri BASSILAIA Morlaas FRA 24, 10
20 Bidzina SAMKHARADZE Farul ROM 26, 40
21 Sandro TODUA Lelo GEO 22, 9
22 Otar BARKALAIA Andorra FRA 25, 37
Head Coach: Tim Lane (Australia)
Format, data and information thanks to

Russia Squad

Vasily Artemyev (Univ.College, Dublin, Ireland)
Mikhail Babaev (VVA-Podmoskovje)
Vladimir Botvinnikov (Enisey STM-Krasnoyarsk)
Artem Fatakhov (Enisey STM-Krasnoyarsk)
Andrey Garbuzov (Krasniy Yar-Krasnoyarsk)
Dmitry Gerasimov (Enisey STM-Krasnoyarsk)
Victor Gresev (VVA-Podmoskovje)
Alexander Gvozdovsky (Krasniy Yar-Krasnoyarsk)
Alexander Khrokin (VVA-Podmoskovje)
Igor Kluchnikov (VVA-Podmoskovje)
Vladislav Korshunov, Capt. (VVA-Podmoskovje)
Kirill Kulemin (Castres, France)
Yuri Kushnarev (VVA-Podmoskovje)
Andrey Kuzin (VVA-Podmoskovje)
Evgeny Matveev (VVA-Podmoskovje)
Vladimir Marchenko (VVA-Podmoskovje)
Nikita Medkov (Slava Moscow)
Victor Motorin (VVA-Podmoskovje)
Andrey Ostrikov (Agen, France)
Ivan Prishpenko (Enisey STM-Krasnoyarsk)
Alexander Shakirov (VVA-Podmoskovje)
Sergey Trishin (VVA-Podmoskovje)
Alexander Voitov (VVA-Podmoskovje)
Alexey Travkin (VVA-Podmoskovje)
Alexander Yanushkin (Slava Moscow)
Head Coach: Nikolay Nerush

Russian rugby scrum half. Image thanks to

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