Venue: Rugby Park Stadium, Invercargill
Referee: George Clancy (Ireland)
Preview This is Georgia’s first game of the tournament.This is Georgia’s third Rugby World Cup finals. They gave Ireland a huge fright in the 2007 Rugby World Cup Finals in the pool stage, finally going down 10-14 in a game the could have won.
Georgia is the leading European team in the European Nations Cup, a tier below the 6 Nations International Championship. The arrive with a fierce reputation in their forward play, an area they are up there, almost, with the best. The physical nature of the game is much, like the Pacific Islanders, to the liking of these hardy people. Rugby is now regarded as a national sport in Georgia. They certainly have a passion for the game.
Although these two teams have not meet on equal terms in a test match, they have had prior contact. In 2010 Georgia defeated Scotland ‘A’ 22-21 (a team that contained a number of experienced Scotland internationals) in the IRB Nations Cup. A much weaker Georgian team lost 3-69 to Scotland ‘A’ in Glasgow in 2008.
Georgian head coach is a Scotsman, Richard Dixon.
Scotland has made a number of changes to the side that stuttered to 34-24 win over one of Georgia’s main European Rivals Romania.
GWC Rugby Rankings World Table-Scotland 4th, Georgia 15th
Europe Table-Scotland 1st, Georgia 7th
IRB Ranking Points Scotland 78.23, Georgia 70.30
Prediction: Georgia will give Scotland a tough tussle first half but so long as Scotland can hold the Georgian forwards and give their vastly more skilful backs a run, I can’t see Scotland losing. Scotland by 15.
Scotland 15 Rory Lamont, 14 Max Evans, 13 Nicholas De Luca, 12 Graeme Morrison, 11 Sean Lamont, 10 Daniel Parks, 9 Rory Lawson, Capt., 8 Kelly Brown, 7 Ross Rennie, 6 Alistair Strokosch, 5 James Hamilton, 4 Nathan Hines, 3 Euan Murray, 2 Scott Lawson, 1 Allan Jacobsen.
16 Ross Ford, 17 Geoffrey Cross, 18 Alasdair Dickinson, 19 Richard Gray,
20 Richard Vernon, 21 Christopher Cusiter, 22 Christopher Paterson.
Head Coach: Andy Robinson
Georgia 15 Revaz Gigauri, 14 Irakli Machkhaneli, 13 David Kacharava, 12 Tedo Zibzibadze, 11 Alexander Todua, 10 Merab Kvirikashvili, 9 Irakli Abuseridze, Capt., 8 Dimitri Basilaia, 7 Mamuka Gorgodze, 6 Shalva Sutiashvili, 5 Vakhtang Maisuradze, 4 Levan Datunashvili, 3 David Zirakashvili, 2 Jaba Bregvadze, 1 David Khinchagishvili.
16 Akvsenti Giorgadze, 17 David Kubriashvilini, 18 Giorgi Chkhaidze, 19 Viktor Kolelishvili, 20 Bidzina Samkharadze, 21 Lasha Khmaladze, 22 Malkhaz Urjukashvili.
Head Coach: Richard Dixon