Georgia narrowly edge past Tonga

Georgia claimed an emphatic 23-20 victory over Tonga after they scored a converted try deep into injury time at ANZ National Stadium in Suva on Saturday.

The visitors' outside centre David Kacharava crossed the whitewash on two occassions to help his side secure a rewarding win.

Georgia's resilience allowed them to camp out metres from the Tonga try line with the match running 15 minutes into extra time which was a true testament of the visitors' patience that paid off in the end.

Both sides dotted down twice with tries for Tonga coming via Viliame Iongi and replacement forward Sione Angaelangi while midfielder Kacharava scored both of Georgia's tries.

Full-back Merab Kvirikashvili's kicking accuracy saw him convert both tries in addition to three penalty conversions which took his account to 13 points.  

The visitors fought back in excellent fashion as they overpowered and outmuscled their opponents in some facets of the game. The Tonga pack, however, made good ground which were matched by a clinical defensive effort from Georgia.

The patience on attack and never-say-die attitude from Georgia paid off and a spirited effort was rewarded when the 93 capped Kacharava crossed over for a memorable 23-20 win for the visitors.

The scorers:

For Tonga:
Tries: Iongi, Angaelangi
Cons: Takulua, Fosita
Pen: Takulua

For Georgia:
Tries: Kacharava 2 
Cons: Kvirikashvili 2
Pens: Kvirikashvili 3

Tonga: 15 Tevita Halaifonua, 14 Otulea Katoa, 13 Apakuki Ma’afu, 12 Latiume Fosita, 11 Viliame Iongi, 10 Kali Hala, 9  Tane Takulua, 8 Sione Tau, 7 Jack Ram, 6 Nili Latu (C), 5 Dan Faleafa, 4 Uili Kolo’ofa’I, 3 Sione Faletau, 2 Elvis Taione, 1 Eddie Aholelei

Replacements:  16 Sosefo Sakalia, 17 Sione Angaelangi, 18 Sila Puafisi, 19 Opeti Fonua, 20 Steve  Mafi, 21 Wayne Ngaluafe, 22 Viliami  Hakalo, 23 Daniel Kilioni

Georgia: 15 Merab Kvirikashvili, 14 Tamaz Mchedlidze, 13 David Kacharava, 12 Merab Sharikadze, 11 Sandro Todua, 10 Lasha Khmaladze, 9 Giorgi Begadze, 8 Beka Bitsadze, 7 Giorgi Tkhilaishvili, 6 Shalva Sutiashvili (c), 5 Giorgi Nemsadze, 4 Giorgi Chkhaidze, 3 Anton Peikrishvili, 2 Jaba Bregvadze, 1 Zurab Zhvania
Replacements: 16 Shalva Mamukashvili, 17 Karlen Asieshvili, 18 Mirtskhulashvili, 19 Nodar Cheishvili, 20 Lasha Lomidze, 21 Vazha Khutsishvili, 22 Lasha Malaghuradze, 23 Giorgi Pruidze

Referee: Nick Briant (New Zealand)
Assistant referees: Pascal Gauzère (France), Faa’vae Neru (Samoa)

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