Zimbabwe will be a much sterner test...


Georgian Under 20 Team in Salt Lake City

After a very long journey, the boys quickly settled in to their new surroundings of the world famous Utah University, Athlete village for the 2002 winter Olympics, here in Salt Lake City.

The surrounding mountains give a spectacular back drop to the daily training sessions.

The first few days were used to acclimatise to the high altitude and strength sapping heat. By the time of our first game all the players were raring to go which made selection very difficult.

The boys found the first half extremely difficult, a culmination of the extreme heat and high altitude. We were further hampered by the injury sustained by Chorno with a dislocated shoulder very early on in the game. At the interval we were lucky to be leading 19-17.

The second half was a completely different story with a completely transformed side emerging after the break. We dominated from start to finish and it was particularly pleasing for the coaches that Canada was denied scoring another point. Every member played his part and the effort put in was very encouraging especially against a side that had the luxury of 4 warm up games before coming into this event. In the end we ran out comfortable winners 31-17.

We know that Zimbabwe will be a much sterner test. They are well organised, quick and very physical – a huge challenge for us. The quick turn-a round in games doesn’t help but the boys have been buoyed by the return of Merab from his exploits with the 1st XV. His experience will prove a calming influence in the heat of the battle.

Off the pitch the management group have been busy furthering international relations, this time with Chile. We have found a great way to unwind at the end of the day by having “International” basketball and volleyball competitions against their management. Currently we are leading the series 2-1!!

Unfortunately, wing Giorgi Bitsadze and center Tamaz Mchedlidze have been suspended respectively for two matches and one match.

Don Caskie, Georgian National Academy of Rugby Manager

Georgian time


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