Emerging Ireland run in six tries to win Tbilisi Cup in style


Emerging Ireland score six tries against hosts Georgia to run out 45-12 winners in final game at Tbilisi Cup. Emerging Italy finished the tournament in second place with a 23-13 victory over Uruguay in the first game of the evening. 


Emerging Italy defy odds to beat Uruguay 


Emerging Italy made it two wins from three games with a victory over Uruguay in the searing heat in the Georgian capital. 


The young Italian team surpassed all expectation at the tournament playing a great brand of rugby and showing real improvement as the tournament progressed. 


Uruguay finished the tournament winless and have plenty to ponder as they get ever closer to the Rugby World Cup. 


The Uruguayans made a great start to the contest. They worked hard for each other in defence early on as the Italians pressed into their 22. Pablo Lemoine's side held out and minutes later were ahead. Fly half Alejo Duran received a pass just on the 22 and was in two minds of what to do. He decided on the drop goal and it just about made its way over the posts. Not a classic drop goal but three points nevertheless.


Carlo Canna, who had a superb match against Georgia on Wednesday, levelled the scores on 12 minutes with a straightforward penalty goal 3-3. 


The South American's should have taken the lead but Agustin Ormaechea's penalty ricocheted off the post. Juan Manuel Gaminara was then sent to the sin bin for 10 minutes and Emerging Italy gained the ascendancy. Emerging Italy scored the first try after 27 minutes, with a man advantage, they put together a well set driving maul with hooker Oliviero Fabiani eventually coming up with the score. Canna's conversion made it 10-3 to Emerging Italy. 


After failing with his first attempt, Ormaechea nailed his second with 10 minutes of the first half remaining, this time the post helped him as it hit and dropped over 10-6. 


The game opened up towards the end of the first half with both sides playing good counter attacking rugby. Uruguay were turned over and Sebastian Negri sprinted clear. The ball was eventually passed to winger Gabriele Di Giulio who scored under the posts. Canna's conversion made it 17-6 to Emerging Italy at half time. 


The third quarter of the match was dominated by Uruguay. They had two clear scoring opportunities but a lack of accuracy, composure and last ditch Italian defence foiled them. 


Credit to the South Americans, they never gave up and were eventually rewarded with a try to Carlos Arboleya. The tight head prop picked up the ball and raced out of the ruck to score under the posts. Ormaechea's  conversion reduced the arrears to 17-13. 


Carlo Canna's kicking game took the game away from Uruguay in the closing stages. He kicked his second penalty of the match with 10 minutes remaining and followed it up with a brilliantly executed drop goal to make it 23-13 and put his side 10 points clear. 


That is how it remained and Emerging Italy won their second match in a row. 


After the match a jubilant Emerging Italy Manager, Andrea Duodo, was delighted with his team's performance. "At the start of the tournament I couldn't imagine that we could win two games. We have got better and better as the tournament has progressed. We worked hard today in difficult conditions. The heat took its toll in the second half and we lacked energy. Overall the management are very happy and the players should be too."


Pablo Lemoine was left to rue missed chances. He said: "We created scoring chances today but we were inpatient at important times. Our scrum was also under pressure and we were turned over the ball as well which didn't help us. Overall the tournament has been great in preparing certain players for the World Cup and will help me make my decisions when it comes to selection."


Scorers: Uruguay: Drop Goals: Duran (8); Penalties: Ormaechea (30); Tries: Arboleya (68); Conversions: Ormaechea; Emerging Italy: Penalties: Canna (12, 71); Tries: Fabiani (27), Di Giulio (39); Conversions: Canna (2); Drop Goals: Canna (74)



Referee: Marius Van der Westhuizen (SA)


Emerging Ireland produced a clinical second half display in front of Joe Schmidt and his coaching team to record a comprehensive 45-12 victory over Georgia. 


The bonus point win ensured the irish finished the competition unbeaten and with three bonus point wins. 


Georgia played some of their best rugby of the tournament in the first half but couldn't sustain it in the second 40 as Emerging Ireland registered 35 points. 


The hosts got off to the perfect start in front of a packed Avchala Stadium. Number 8 Lasha Lomidze powered his way over after eight minutes of play for a typically Georgian try. Their forwards laid the platform and maintained accuracy and composure to ensure they crossed the line. 


JJ Hanrahan, who will play for northampton Saints next season, reduced the deficit to two points with a penalty goal on 18 minutes to make it 5-3. 


The Irish took the lead on 29 minutes when they were awarded a penalty try by referee Mathieu Raynal. From the five metre line-out they set up a driving maul that proved to difficult for the Georgians to legally handle. Hanrahan's conversion put the Irish 10-5 ahead and that is how it remained until half time. 


Lively Irish winger Matt Healy scored within five minutes of the re-start picking a great line off Stuart McClosky to run in under the posts. Hanrahan's conversion put daylight between the sides at 17-5. 


Four minutes later Eoghan Masterson scored the try of the day. Andrew Conway passed to Hanrahan who sprinted clear before passing to Healy. The winger put the ball on the toe and it was regathered by John coney who was dragged down five metres short of the line. The ball was quickly recycled and Masterson hit the ball at pace to barge his way over for his sides third try. The conversion made it 24-5. 


The home side were reduced to 14 men but during this period, still managed to score their second try. A brilliant driving maul finished with replacement second row Otar Giorgadze scoring a try. Beka Tsiklauri's conversion made the score 24-12 to Emerging Ireland. 


John Cooney came up with the bonus point score with a scything run after picking up at the base of the scrum. A fourth successful Hanrahan conversion made it 31-12. 


Andrew Conway continued his impressive try scoring form in the competition with another score before replacement tight head Finlay Bealham scored with his first touch to make the final score 45-12. 


Emerging Ireland Head Coach Allen Clarke was delighted for his side after the match. He said: "We are very satisfied with the win and to win the tournament overall. We are a little bit frustrated with some of our play. Over the three games we have probably put together three good halves of rugby, we were particularly good in the second half tonight, we played with pace and precision and got our basics right. We came here with a group of young talented players and they are delighted to have won the tournament."


Milton Haig, the Georgian head Coach was pleased with aspects of his sides play. "The first half was ok, we played quite well but in the second half their fitness really showed and they scored some good tries. We made tackles in the first half that we couldn't make in the second half. Once they got front foot ball it was very tough for us to defend. Overall the process for this tournament was selection for the final 10/15% of the squad for the World Cup training camp and this has certainly done that."


Scorers: Georgia: Tries: Lomidze (8), Giorgadze (55) conversions: Tsiklauri; Emerging Ireland: Penalties: Hanrahan (18); Tries: Penalty try (29), Healy (45), Masterson (49), Cooney (63), Conway (69), Bealham (72); Conversions: Hanrahan (6)


Referee: Mathieu Raynal (FR)

Georgian time


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