‘Willow Cup’ goes to “Army”

 The crowd at Avchala stadium witnessed the match which is now rightly considered as one of the best final games in the history of Georgian National Rugby Championship. Many anticipated a tough, highly-contested battle, but the skillful, entertaining display exceeded any expectations. Both teams were worthy of praise for their showing, but in the end, the stronger team of the day – “Army”– edged out opponents to get a deserved victory 29:22. “Army” Rugby Club of Tbilisi enjoyed a strong start of the season and continued to perform in a convincing fashion throughout whole championship. Amazingly, the club which was founded only a year ago, went on to claim the trophy in their debut appearance. 

AIA” from Kutaisi dominated the opening of the ‘Grand Final’. Instead of trying to close it down, they attempted to play a dynamic, open game. The tactics allowed Besik Khamashuridze to score a first try as he drifted past four tacklers to finish off a nice move. So, after 30 minutes in the game, AIA were leading 16 to 3. At this point, “Army” still could not get their game going. Bakhva Kobakhidze – always thought of as an accurate kicker, missed two kickable penalties. Though, before the half ended, he managed to add six more points to his team’s tally. Consequently, despite “AIA” having a seven point lead going into the break, there were some signs that the game could go the other way, as “AIA” players grew increasingly tired, while “Army” gradually found new confidence in their play. Apparently, something had to be changed. However “Army” produced good attacking play following a restart - Beso Udesiani, substitution Jaba Bregvadze and other forwards providing some effective kicks. Both sides then exchanged successful penalties before Irakli Koridze who came in after the break scored a try for “Army”. Kobakhidze converted and followed up with a penalty of his own to give his team a lead for the first time. Another substitution – Giorgi Gagoshvili, who received the ball at the half-way line, cut 50 meters as he skillfully slalomed past defenders to score a final try. With only a few minutes remaining, “AIA” tried to hit back and increased the pressure. They narrowed the deficit to just one converted try, yet as the fatigue took over, all of the attempts at scoring were prevented by “Army”, Tbilisians being clearly better prepared in terms of physical conditions.
As Georgia welcomes new champions – “Army” Rugby Club of Tbilisi, we would like to congratulate them on their victory and wish them more success in the future. !
Georgian time


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