This Experience Will Be Useful For the Younger Players

25-Jun-2012

The Lelos finished their North-American tour with two losses. After the defeat in Denver the Georgian national rugby team failed to win in Canada.

As different from the first match, during which our team mostly played defense, this time we had a small advantage. Unfortunately, our squad could not use this advantage to its own benefit.

The Canadians started the game very actively and soon scored a try due to wing Van der Merwe’s prowess. The Lelos were very unlucky on June 23. They tended to lose the ball in seemingly harmless situations, while the opponents played counter-attack flawlessly. The Canadians used all the chances they got to their benefit; as a result, the first half ended 23:7 in their favor.

In the second half, the Georgians’ advantage became even more noticeable. According to the match statistics, we had more possession and played on the opponents’ territory most of the time, but the Canadian team managed to score points in spite of these factors. Especially active was Canadian fullback James Pritchard, whom the Lelos could not stop; Pritchard earned his team 21 points. Best player of the match was center Phil McKenzie.

The maximum achievement of our team was the try scored by substitute hooker Shalva Mamukashvili. Following a lineout in the vicinity of the opponent’s goal line, the Lelos formed a maul, which allowed the hooker to score an efficient try, which, unfortunately, remained unconverted. As we already noted, the Canadians played very good counter-attack; they scored two more tries spiced up by Pritchard’s pinpoint conversions and a penalty kick. The match ended 31:12.

The North American tour clearly showed our team’s drawbacks, especially the fact that we lack quality alternatives to the core squad. The team, lacking its leading players, was replenished by several young sportsmen, who did not have the any relevant playing experience.

After the final whistle, Georgia’s head coach Milton Haig reflected on the blunders, which the Lelos made during the match:
"There were too many mistakes, which allowed our opponent to reach a 20-point score margin. We failed to develop the advantage we had, and Canada is a very strong team – they used all our mistakes. I really did not expect such a result; we got penalized too often, especially in the first half. However, I am sure this experience of playing against a strong opponent will be useful for the young players who took part in this tour."
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