Georgia blank Canada in the rain
REPORT: FullbackMerab Kvirkashvili scored all Goergia's points for their 13-0 win against Canada on Saturday in rainy conditions at Calgary Rugby Park.
Georgia took an early 3-0 lead in the just the third minute as Kvirkashvili kicked an early penalty, a score that would hold until half time. Canada had opportunities in the half — Coe knocking on from only a few meters out and Conor Trainor nearly scoring off of a chip-and-chase.
Kvirkashvili extended Georgia's lead to 6-0 in the 46th minute with another penalty but missed two more opportunities before the hour mark to add to the lead.
Kvirkashvili would seal the deal in the 77th minute as he dived onto a loose ball after Phil Mack couldn’t collect a high ball before converting to secure a 13-0 win.
"We had a young team out there but we left a few players out deliberately but I thought the guys handled themselves really well," Canada's head coach Mark Anscombe said. "Against a quality team like Georgia, to get as close as we did with a young team, is very encouraging.
"I'm really proud of the way the boys played today."
Canada's Aaron Carpenter also tied Al Charron's test record of 76 caps as he came on as a second half replacement.
"I'm trying not to think about it and make a big deal out of it," Carpenter said. "It's a big thing for me personally though and that's why I wanted to come back and see it through. For all of the people who have supported me throughout the years, I’m doing it for them, myself, my family. They’ve given me the opportunity to come here and be away from them and I’m happy it’s tied and hopefully in the next couple of weeks I can get one more and surpass it.”
Canada also got test debuts from starters Shane O’Leary, who was named the Man of the Match, and Andrew Coe, while Anthony Luca came on as a second half replacement.
“We’ve got some big games coming up,” Anscombe said. “We left some people out to manage the workload of the squad for the first couple of weeks.
“I think the guys that went out today did themselves and the jersey proud.”
Pens: Kvirkashvili 2
Canada: 15 Andrew Coe, 14 Dan Moor, 13 Conor Trainor, 12 Guiseppe Du Toit, 11 Sean Duke, 10 Shane O’Leary, 9 Phil Mack, 8 Admir Cejvanovic, 7 Matt Heaton, 6 Kyle Baillie, 5 Conor Keys, 4 Brett Beukeboom (c), 3 Jake Ilnicki, 2 Benoit Piffero, 1 Djustice Sears-Duru
Replacements: 16 Eric Howard, 17 Anthony Luca, 18 Matt Tierney, 19 Liam Chisholm, 20 Aaron Carpenter, 21 Andrew Ferguson, 22 Gradyn Bowd, 23 Ciaran Hearn
Georgia: 15 Merab Kvirikashvili, 14 Soso Matiashvili, 13 David Kacharava, 12 Merab Sharikadze (c), 11 Sandro Todua, 10 Lasha Khmaladze, 9 Vasil Lobzhanidze, 8 Beka Bitsadze, 7 Giorgi Tkhilaishvili, 6 Lasha Lomidze, 5 Kote Mikautadze, 4 Giorgi Nemsadze, 3 Anton Peikrishvili, 2 Jaba Bregvadze, 1 Mikheil Nariashvili
Replacements: 16 Badri Alkhazashvili, 17 Kakha Asieshvili, 18 Soso Bekoshvili, 19 Nodar Cheishvili, 20 Otar Giorgadze, 21 Giorgi Begadze, 22 Lasha Malaghiradze, 23 Giorgi Chkhaidze
Referee: Andrew Brace (Ireland)
Assistant Referees: Shuhei Kubo (Japan), Ben Whitehouse (Wales)