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Woeful Wales beaten by Georgia at the Principality Stadium

19 Nov 2022 3 minute read
Wales’ Louis Rees-Zammit (centre) is tackled by Georgia’s Demur Tapladze (left) and Miriani Modebadze (right) during the Autumn International match at the Principality Stadium, Cardiff. Picture by Joe Giddens / PA wIRE

A woeful second-half performance by Wales saw them beaten by Georgia for the first time.

After a slow start, Wales seemed to be cruising to victory after two first-half tries by Jac Morgan.

But Georgia struck back with a Alexander Todue try and Tedo Abzhandadze conversion in the second half after Wales wing Alex Cuthbert was sin-binned for dangerous play.

A final Luka Matkava penalty on 77 minutes put Los Lelos in the lead.

It was one of the greatest upsets in international rugby union history, and will inevitably pile pressure on Wales boss Wayne Pivac building towards next weekend’s autumn finale against Australia.

Man of the match, Georgia scrum-half Vasil Lobzhanidze told Amazon Prime: “We feel so proud. I am proud of the team and all the Georgian people in rugby.

“We all believed we could win, from the first minute to the last. We’ve made history. We are so proud of ourselves.”

Fly-half Tedo Abzhandadze kicked Georgia into a second-minute lead, before full-back Davit Niniashvili sparked a thrilling counter-attack as the visitors settled impressively.

Wales were slow out of the blocks in comparison, but they began to exert pressure inside Georgia’s 22, with wing Alex Cuthbert going close following two lineout drives that were defended well by the visitors.

But Wales pounced in the 20th minute after lock Adam Beard won lineout ball and flanker Jac Morgan surged over for a try that Priestland converted, making it 7-3.

Morgan struck again just three minutes later when he collected scrum-half Tomos Williams’ pass, building impressively on his outstanding display against Argentina after going on as a first-half replacement.

Wales thought they had scored again eight minutes before the break when Adams finished impressively after a kick and chase, but Williams’ pass to him was ruled forward.

It was a let-off for Georgia, and they accrued no further damage on the scoreboard as Wales led 12-3 at half-time.


Georgia dominated the third quarter, capitalising on aimless kicking from Wales, and scrum-half Vasil Lobzhanidze went close to a try that was thwarted by strong defensive work from Adams.

Wales were predictable, lacking creativity, and Georgia seemed to thrive on that.

And they cut the deficit to just two points midway through the half when Todua collected a well-placed kick and crossed unopposed, with Abzhandadze’s conversion making it 12-10.

Abzhandadze had a chance to put Georgia ahead, but he drifted an angled penalty attempt wide and Wales escaped.

Faletau made a considerable impact, and he looked to have created a hat-trick try for Morgan, only for the Cardiff number eight to knock on during approach play.

The final few minutes were tense, especially from a Welsh perspective, and substitute fly-half Luka Matkava kicked a 45-metre penalty in the 78th minute.

Georgia’s players celebrated wildly, and they held on to win 13-12, claiming the greatest victory in their rugby history and leaving Wales embarrassed.

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