Romania depart the 2011 RWC without a win to their name after going down to Georgia 25-9 in Palmerston North on Wednesday.
Romania depart the 2011 Rugby World Cup without a win to their name after going down to Georgia 25-9 in Palmerston North on Wednesday.
It was a well-deserved victory by the Georgians, who stay on to play Argentina on Sunday with a win under their belt.
Scrappy for the most part, both sides threw everything but the kitchen sink at one another however sprung a major leak with handling errors the order of the evening.
The scrums were to be the weapon of choice for the two teams, with the Romanians winning the battle up front with some powerful work from their forwards who really stamped their authority in that particular department… but nowhere else.
The Oaks' line-outs, however, were a shambles with skew throw-ins and their catchers doing everything but catch while the backs failed to spark anything with ball in hand.
It wasn't pretty, it wasn't expected to be, but the stop-start spectacle wasn't helped either by the trigger-happy refereeing of Dave Pearson who blew the game to smithereens – awarding 14 penalties in the first half alone.
Romania started the match the better of the two teams, pushing the Georgians off their feet in the first scrum but failed to turn pressure into points after fly-half Danut Dumbrava missed a simple shot at goal.
Georgia pivot Merab Kvirikashvili showed his opposite number how it should be done after sending over the opening points of the match with a straight-forward penalty.
Dumbrava found his range in the ninth minute, but had to watch Kvirikashvili slot two more penalties before getting a chance in the 33rd minute to add another of his own.
With both sides rarely threatening the tryline, they took their opportunities at points when presented to them and Kvirikashvili was happy to raise the flags once more with the final penalty of the first half to take his team into the half-time sheds 12-6 ahead.
The second half started in the same fashion as the first half ended – with more penalties. Yet both goal-kickers made a mess of their attempts after the break.
Then the unbelievable happened: Georgia managed to string 11 phases together as the Lelos marched towards their opposition tryline before Mamuka Gorgodze powered over for a brilliant team try.
Kvirikashvili added the conversion from bang in front and all of a sudden Georgia were in a commanding 19-6 lead. I say commanding, because the Oaks hardly came within a sniff of scoring a five-pointer up until this point of the match.
In fact, Georgia's tryline was never in sight of Romania for the remainder of a tight tussle and when Kvirikashvili raised the flags with his fifth successful penalty, it was game over for Romeo Gontineac's side.
When Romania did work their way inside the Georgians' territory, they took the strange decision to kick for points whilst 16 points (22-6) down.
Replacement full-back Florin Vlaicu was successful with his penalty nontheless, but Georgia weren't done and nailed the final nail into Romania's coffin with a three-pointer by Malkhaz Urjukashvili four minutes from full-time.
Man of the match: In a tight game where penalties ruled the roost, we have to go for Georgia's number ten Merab Kvirikashvili who contributed 17 points with the boot.
Moment of the match: Um, erm… hmmm… ah yes – Mamuka Gorgodze's try for the Lelos!
Villain of the match: No punches, pushes or even a horrible word about anyone's second cousin whispered in the ear.
Pens: Kvirikashvili 5, Urjukashvili
Pens: Dumbrava 2, Vlaicu
Georgia: 15 Lasha Khmaladze, 14 Revaz Gigauri, 13 David Kacharava, 12 Tedo Zibzibadze, 11 Alexander Todua, 10 Merab Kvirikashvili, 9 Irakli Abuseridze (c), 8 Dimitri Basilaia, 7 Mamuka Gorgodze, 6 Giorgi Chkhaidze, 5 Vakhtang Maisuradze, 4 Ilia Zedginidze, 3 David Zirakashvili, 2 Jaba Bregvadze, 1 David Khinchagishvili.
Replacements: 16 Goderdzi Shvelidze, 17 Vasil Kakovin, 18 Levan Datunashvili, 19 Givi Berishvili, 20 Bidzina Samkharadze, 21 Irakli Chkhikvadze, 22 Malkhaz Urjukashvili.
Romania: 15 Iulian Dumitras, 14 Stefan Ciuntu, 13 Csaba Gal, 12 Tiberius Dimofte, 11 Madalin Lemnaru, 10 Danut Dumbrava, 9 Florin Surugiu, 8 Daniel Carpo, 7 Ovidiu Tonita, 6 Mihai Macovei, 5 Cristian Petre, 4 Valentin Ursache, 3 Paulica Ion, 2 Marius Tincu (c), 1 Mihaita Lazar.
Replacements: 16 Bogdan Suman, 17 Silviu Florea, 18 Valentin Poparlan, 19 Daniel Ianus, 20 Valentin Calafeteanu, 21 Constantin Gheara, 22 Florin Vlaicu.
Referee: Dave Pearson (England)
By Dave Morris