Georgia 30 Namibia 0: Georgians achieve first World Cup victory

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The Independent Online

Georgia romped to their first World Cup victory with a 30-0 triumph over Namibia yesterday to make sure it won't finish last in Group D.

Hooker Akvsenti Giorgadze bulldozed over the line for a typical forward's try in the first half and winger Irakli Machkhaneli stole the ball from Namibia for a runaway second.

Davit Kacharava also intercepted a pass to score a third try in injury time as Georgia ended its run of six World Cup losses in a row.

"This day is the best day yet for Georgian rugby, and all of Georgia," said Rati Urushadze, Georgia's openside flanker. "We don't even know what to expect of our celebrations. It's our first victory. We're amateurs at winning."

Flyhalf Merab Kvirikashvili contributed 15 points with the boot at the Stade Felix Bollaert. If he hadn't missed three more penalties and a drop goal, the Georgians would have celebrated an even bigger victory.

The result means that Georgia has five points with another Group D game to go against host France while Namibia finishes last with none from four.

"We have to go back to the drawing board, but at this stage we were beaten by the better team," said Namibia coach Hakkies Husselman, whose team had only one kick at goal, a missed penalty by Morne Schreuder, and rarely got near the Georgian line.

"We had a game plan," Namibia captain Kees Lensing said. "But made too many mistakes and they capitalized on them."

Having gone close to achieving one of the biggest upsets in World Cup history — restricting Ireland to 14-10 — Georgia dominated the game in steady rain against the Namibians, who had conceded 150 points in their previous two games against France and Argentina.

The well disciplined Georgia pack forced error upon error by the Namibians who also conceded kickable penalties.

Kvirikashvili kicked Georgia ahead in the seventh minute but missed a tough drop goal attempt and then an easy penalty which drifted wide of the near post.

The flyhalf landed another penalty in the 25th minute, however, and, after Morne Schreuder had squandered one for the Namibians, Georgia moved smoothly ahead with a converted try.

Giorgadze broke from a maul close to the tryline and burrowed under three Namibians to cross for the score.

That gave Georgia a 13-0 halftime lead and Kvirikashvili wasted a chance to increase the advantage by missing another 30-meter kick early in the second half.

He was also well short with an ambitious kick from inside his own half but landed a 30-meter kick in the 69th minute to stretch his team's lead to 16 points.

A minute later it was 23-0 when the Namibians tried to run the ball from inside their own half and fullback Heini Bock was caught by a crunching tackle by Machkhaneli within a split second of catching a pass.

The ball dropped kindly for the Georgian winger who gathered it cleanly and was left with an untroubled 35 meter run to the line. Kvirikashvili's conversion made the game safe with 10 minutes to go.

Georgia scored another opportunist try in injury time when Kacharava intercepted a pass from Piet van Zyl only 30 meters from the Namibian line and ran clear for a converted try.