Georgia player ratings: Luka Matkava catches the eye in losing cause to Wallabies

David Skippers
Luka Matkava Georgia v Australia RWC 2023 - Alamy.jpg

Georgia fly-half Luka Matkava.

After their 35-15 Rugby World Cup defeat against Australia in Paris, here’s how the Georgia team performed on Saturday.

15 Davit Niniashvili: The exciting full-back looked dangerous on attack when he found himself in space and finished with 121 metres gained. However, he was responsible for a Wallabies try in the second half after throwing a 50-50 pass, which the opposition intercepted. Replaced by Giorgi Kveseladze in the 62nd minute. 6

14 Akaki Tabutsadze: Georgia’s try-scoring machine had few attacking opportunities, and when he did receive the ball it was usually when the defence had closed in on him. He proved a handful to the defence when he did receive the ball but lost possession while crossing the whitewash late in the game. 5

13 Demur Tapladze: Little interesting to report here. Tapladze offered little on attack, although he was solid in defence and finished with nine tackles made. 5

12 Merab Sharikadze (c): Like most of the Lelos’ backline, Sharikadze struggled with ball in hand and was restricted mostly to defensive duties. 4

11 Miriani Modebadze: Had some good attacking moments – especially in the first half – but none of those came to fruition. His discipline let him down, though as he conceded three penalties and was also yellow carded on the stroke of half-time. 4

10 Luka Matkava: The Lelos’ chief playmaker did well under trying circumstances as he had some good attacking moments and tested the Wallabies’ defence, especially in the second half and also shone on defence. Finished with 113 metres gained and 12 tackles made. 7

9 Vasil Lobzhanidze: Looked lively during the early stages but failed to make an impact as his pack was on the back foot for most of this match. Also conceded three penalties. Replaced by Gela Aprasidze in the 52nd minute. 4

Strong ball-carrying performance

8 Beka Gorgadze: He showed his class with some strong carries, one of which led to Wallabies scrum-half Tate McDermott coming off second best and he was eventually forced off the field for a HIA, which he failed. Gorgadze also did well on defence and made 12 hits. 6

7 Luka Ivanishvili: The young tearaway struggled early on but came back strongly after the break when he crossed for his side’s opening try, and he finished with 18 metres gained. Less prominent on defence, as he only made eight hits. 6

6 Tornike Jalagonia: Emptied the tank on defence and finished with a match-high 17 tackles made without missing one. However, he made little impact on the attack as he only gained a paltry four metres from four carries. 6

5 Konstantine Mikautadze: Like most of Georgia’s tight five, Mikautadze did not come to the party in the execution of his core duties. His lineout work was not up to scratch, and he made little impact as a ball carrier. He was prominent on defence, though, as he finished with 12 tackles made. 5

4 Nodar Cheishvili: Like Mikautadze, he came off second best in the lineout battle against the opposition although he was at the forefront of his side’s defensive effort with an impressive 13 hits. 6

3 Guram Papidze: It was a tough day at the office for the Pau tighthead prop as he battled in the scrums and was eventually yanked off at half-time with Beka Gigashvili replacing him, and there was a notable improvement at the set-piece. 4

2 Shalva Mamukashvili: Battled with his throw-ins at the lineouts -especially during the opening period – but apart from that, he had a quiet game. He was solid in defence and made 11 tackles before being replaced by Tengiz Zamtaradze in the 58th minute. 5

1 Nika Abuladze: Another one who battled in his prime duty – in the scrums – during the opening half, although there was some improvement as the match progressed. Eventually, he was replaced by Guram Gogichashvili after 52 minutes. 5

Replacements: After a poor first half, Georgia made some changes at half-time and early on in the second half, which saw some improvement, but they could not sustain that for the rest of the match, and the Wallabies came back strongly. Gigashvili brought some fire to the forward exchanges and was rewarded with a try, but otherwise, the changes did not have the desired effect. 5

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