June 09, 2018
Georgia opened its Pacific Nations Cup campaign with a 16-15 narrow win over Tonga at the ANZ Stadium in Suva today.
Fullback Ioseb Matiashvili scored a try, converted and kicked two penalties as the Georgians led 13-3 at halftime.
Sione Fifita scored Tonga’s points from a penalty.
Matiashvili kicked another penalty successfully midway in the second half before the Tongans staged a late comeback and scored two tries.
Georgian Captain Giorgi Nemsadze said they were anticipating a tough and a physical challenge from the Tongans and are happy to escape with a win.
“We have played the Tongans before and knew what to expect from them. They pushed us to the wire and we got tired in the last 10 minutes and started to make mistakes.”
“This win is a morale booster for us and we will rest and start preparations for the Fiji game from Monday.”
Tongan Captain Siale Piutau said the Georgians played the game to their strength and used the set-pieces very well.
“We lifted our game in the last 20 minutes of the match and this saw us score two good tries. It was a tough match and we will take the positives from this one and will try to come out stronger in the next match,” he said.
Georgia plays the Fiji Airways Flying Fijians in their next match next Saturday at 3.30pm while Tonga will play Samoa at 1pm.
By Reginald Chandar