The Lelos Win Their Fifth European Nations Cup


The Lelos won the European Nations Cup for the fifth time. The conclusive match against Ukraine, played at Avchala Stadium in Tbilisi was won 33:3.

In this last match of ENC 2012 season, Georgian national team Head Coach Milton Haig allowed several young sportsmen to show their worth on the pitch – prop Irakli Mirtskhulava and flankers Beka Bitsadze and Giorgi Tkhilaishvili earned their first caps on June 9.

Already at the 5th minute Georgian no. 13 Merab Sharikadze scored a try, efficiently converted by fullback Irakli Kiasashvili. Score did not increase until much later into the first half; at the 35th minute lock Vakhtang Maisuradze scored a try, converted by fullback Irakli Kiasashvili to reach the half-time score - 14:0.

Second half of the game was also dominated by the Lelos. Their very first attack resulted in a try: scrum-half Irakli Abuseridze (team captain) changed direction of attack, the backs quickly run the ball down the field and Vakhtang Maisuradze scored his second try (also converted by Irakli Kiasashvili). The score increased to 21:0. Soon afterwards Ukrainian fly-half Mykola Deliyergiev kicked a penalty and increased the score to 21:3.

At the 51st minute, the Lelos scored their fourth try. Georgian wing Irakli Machkhaneli led the attack so well, that the Ukrainians only managed to stop him in the vicinity of their 5-meter line. Abuseridze cleared the ball to the backs, changed direction of attack from the ruck and Irakli Machkhaneli scored an unconverted try in the corner of the pitch (26:3).

Match result was already evident; the Lelos slowed down their speed and allowed their opponent to perform several efficient attacks.

The Ukrainians approached the Georgians’ goal line several times, but could not break through the Lelos’ defense.

In the end of the match Irakli Machkhaneli brought his team five more points. The Ukrainian team lost the ball in scrum, no. 20 Giorgi Begadze passed it left to Merab Sharikadze, who let Machkhaneli score a try. Irakli Kiasashvili successfully kicked the conversion and the score rose to 33:3. The Lelos won the European Nations Cup for the second time in a row; in total, this is their fifth ENC win.

Georgian national team Head Coach Milton Haig and Captain Irakli Abuseridze evaluated team performance at the post-match press-conference.

Milton Haig, head coach:
"Though we scored five tries, I am not satisfied with our performance. The players moved very slowly and allowed a lot of mistakes. We could not manage to organize the game. Of course, there were many inexperienced players in our squad today – 7 replacements after the match against Russia, - obviously this is why our performance was so desultory. As regards the debutant players – they played well and proved they were up to the team level."

Irakli Abuseridze, team captain:
"I am not happy with the quality of our game. It is difficult to play with varied squads, the team needs to spend more time together. We will analyze our mistakes and show a better performance in USA and Canada."

On the same night, Georgian national team left for the North America, where they will play two test-matches against USA on June 16 and against Canada on June 23.
Georgian time


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