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Good morning, rugby fans.
The bad news is that we can’t just skip right ahead to the quarter-final stage of the Rugby World Cup after Ireland demolished Scotland yesterday, there’s a wee bit to go before then.
The good news is that there is midweek rugby action afoot and the Grand Slam winners must navigate the tricky obstacle of Georgia, the regular noisy neighbours of the Six Nations sides.
Wales’ true pool-decider will of course come a little later against the Wallabies, but a fierce pack like Georgia – complete with the out-of-retirement Mamuka Gorgodze – could cause some real issues if Warren Gatland’s side are even a little disrupted by the loss of backs coach Rob Howley over a betting breach.
Here are the teams for today’s clash, Dan Biggar takes the reins at out-half with a powerful-looking back-line featuring Hadleigh Parkes, Jon Davies, George North and the wonderful Liam Williams.
Wyn Jones, Ken Owens, Tom Francis, Jake Ball, Alun Wyn Jones (capt.), Aaron Wainwright, Justin Tipuric, Josh Navidi.
Gareth Davies, Dan Biggar, Josh Adams, Hadleigh Parkes, Jonathan Davies, George North, Liam Williams.
Replacements: Elliot Dee, Nicky Smith, Dillon Lewis, Aaron Shingler, Ross Moriarty, Tomos Williams, Rhys Patchell, Leigh Halfpenny.
Mikheil Nariashvili (capt.), Shalva Mamukashvili, Beka Gigashvili, Giorgi Nemsadze, Konstantine Mikautadze, Giorgi Tkhilaishvili, Mamuka Gorgodze, Beka Gorgadze.
Vasil Lobzhanidze, Tedo Abzhandadze, Giorgi Kveseladze, Tamaz Mchedlidze, David Kacharava, Miriani Modebadze, Soso Matiashvili.
Jaba Bregvadze, Guram Gogichashvili, Levan Chilachava, Shalva Sutiashvili, Beka Saginadze, Otari Giorgadze, Gela Aprasidze, Lasha Khmaladze
The bookmakers don’t give the Tier 2 much hope here, with a spread sitting at 27 points.
They’re playing under a roof in Toyota City too, so Wales will feel right at home and if they can get their tempo set nice and high they could do a job in moving around those big Georgian units.
Nice shot of Stephen Jones seated next to big Warren G there after the anthems. How will the attack he now presides over fare?
The grand old man Mamuka Gorgodze knock-on from the kick-off into the Georgia 22 and Wales have an ideal starting position.
Wales try to move it very quick, Jon Davies raids the short side and the ball is stripped from him as he takes contact.
TRY! Wales 5 Georgia (Davies ’3)
Well that’s a shocking way to start for Georgia. Wales go hard at the line off the second scrum and Gareth Davies spins a nice flat pass to Jon Davies and he goes under the posts untouched.
Dan Biggar’s conversion attempt is woeful as the Georgian first phase defence and it pings off the bar.
Luke Pearce has had a good long look at an aerial contest between Josh Adams and Kveseladze.
The Georgian wing took a bad fall after the contest, but the referee deemed the contact legal – and did so again after the TMO asked if he was happy with the pull on the arm Adams did on his opposite number.
Lucky welsh boy, you’d have to say.
PENALTY! Wales 8 Georgia 0 (Biggar ’7)
A double kick in the teeth for Georgia then as the lead is extended on Wales’ next attack.
TRY! Wales 13 Georgia 0 (Tipuric ’13)
Another very incisive set move from Wales, Gareth Davies is slipped through the gap and he raids for the 22. Jon Davies is in support and though they don’t score without being tackled this time, Justin Tipuric is quick on the scene to finish the move off under the posts.
I’ve learned my lesson of not counting a Dan Biggar conversion until it’s over the bar, and the 10 manages to keep his concentration and slot a second kick from three attempts.
Wales 15 Georgia 0
Are you hearing those screams or is it just me?
There are Ned Flanders-esque exclaims of excitement coming from the stands when Wales go on the attack.
We were braced for another one a moment ago when Liam Williams collected deep in his own half and mounted a counter in the mold of Lions 2017.
Mikautadze came to our eardrums’ rescue with a solid hit.
TRY! Wales 20 Georgia 0 (Adams ’20)
That simple reverse pass off 10 is just killing Georgia. Biggar slips Josh Adams through the gap and there’s not a
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