Georgia Forwards Dominant in Record Win Over Canada 54-22: VIDEO HIGHLIGHTS
Al Charron was inducted into the World Rugby Hall of Fame yesterday, congratulations to Al. It was a reminder of a time when Canadian forwards were a formidable group known for their toughness. Such is not the case today, it was evident in the way Georgia manhandled Canada in today's match.
Canada got their 3 tries, all through the backs, two of them off quick taps by Phil Mack. However Georgia scored a lot more, their 54 points more than doubles their highest output against Canada. If there's a trend there, it's not a good one for Canada or new coach Kingsley Jones.
CANADA v GEORGIA MATCH HISTORY Georgia won 13 0 +13 1 1 2 0 v Canada Calgary 10 Jun 2017 Georgia won 22 15 +7 3 2 1 0 v Canada Tbilisi 20 Nov 2010 Georgia won 19 15 +4 1 1 4 0 v Canada Tbilisi 9 Nov 2013 Georgia lost 15 16 -1 2 1 1 0 v Canada Esher 2 Sep 2015 Georgia lost 12 31 -19 2 1 0 0 v Canada Vancouver 23 Jun 2012 Georgia lost 10 42 -32 1 1 1 0 v Canada Glendale 6 Jun 2009
Georgia's first try was off a clever cross kick. Andrew Coe had his clearing kick blocked which ended up giving Georgia a lineout in Canada's half. They worked a preset play that saw the first receiver chip the ball to the wing. Canada's defence was caught napping, Coe made the initial tackle but Staller didn't hustle back to cover the support player and it was an easy 7 points. We had said pregame that the kicking by Parfrey and Coe would be key and neither did particularly well in that aspect, both having kicks blocked inside their 22.
It was the Georgian forwards though that set the platform for victory. Georgia owned the scrum and the contact area which led to a further 9 points through penalty kicks. Canada were still in the match though as the half was winding down, 16-8 to the home side with one try to each team.
The play that finished the half was thematic of the match. Georgia just bullied their way over the line from a lineout and maul from 10 metres out, nothing fancy but just the confidence that you are physically superior to your opposition in strength and power. It moved a close game going into the half a step further away and the teams came out to a 23-8 scoreline.
Georgia came out in the second half and imposed their power game, stuffing Canada runners behind the gainline, lingering at the breakdown as Canadian forwards struggled to clear them from the rucks. They won more penalties and went ahead 26-8. Then another penalty at the scrum as Georgia were pushing Canada's pack backwards, another lineout but this time the maul didn't succeed. From the ensuing ruck their big tighthead picked the ball up and drove past Barkwill and Djustice, Canada's forwards were getting worked over, it was now 33-8. Canada changed the entire front row.
At 55 minutes Phil Mack takes another quick tap from a penalty, weaves through defenders and finds a streaking DTH for the try. It's the second time the Phil Mack quick tap to DTH play hits gold, in the first half it was finished off by Taylor Paris. Up to this point it's the only attacking option that is having any success, 33-15.
It's a long way back but maybe Canada can make it close. Not to be, Parfrey gets his clearance kick blocked and the Georgian centre falls on the ball for a try, 40-15. At 60 minutes Canada finally get a score from a set piece, lineout, second phase ball, numbers on the outside, Coe to Staller and Canada close it to 40-22.
Hearn takes a knock to the head and is replaced by du Toit. A scrum penalty again against Canada, lineout but this time Canada steal it and clear the ball. A heads up play from a turnover by the Georgian fullback, Soso Matiashvili, sees him chip and chase to score in the corner, 47-22. Matiashvili scored 34 points, an individual record for Georgia, running in two tries and kicking five conversions and four penalties.
At 78 minutes the Georgian forwards put a punctuation on the match as the replacement prop drives through the Canadian defence for a try, it's all looking a bit too easy at this point. The Uruguay coaches will already have their game plan ready for January, win the physical battle up front and keep the ball away from Mack, DTH and Paris.
The starting forwards for Canada will have to show more against Spain next weekend. Spain (63.15) are ranked 4 points ahead of Canada (59.47), they're 19th, Canada are 24th. Canada will need more production from the backline outside of Mack, DTH and Paris.
The new coach Kingsley Jones hasn't had enough time to be evaluated but a record loss to Georgia is not the best start.
Canada Lose to Georgia 54-22: Details to Follow
Georgia led Canada 23-8 at the half. Georgia scored 2 minutes in on a cross kick try. Canada countered with a penalty, followed by 3 Georgian penalties for a 16-3 scoreline.
Canada got a penalty at the scrum and Phil Mack quick tapped and spread it wide with Taylor Paris finishing it off which brought the score to 16-8. Georgia mauled one in before half to leave it 23-8 at halftime.
Canada scored two tries through the backs in the second half but Georgia added 31 points of their own. More details and analysis to follow.
Canada Name Team for Georgia Clash on Saturday 6am PT
Canada have brought some extra finishing skill into the roster with backline players DTH, Taylor Paris, Ciaran Hearn coming into the starting lineup. Brock Staller and Andrew Coe keep their wing and fullback position respectively. Guiseppe du Toit is the lone backline backup player as Canada anticipates a forwards oriented struggle. Ben Lesage and Dan Moor are dropped from the roster. It may have been a close call choosing between Staller and Moor on the wing. Staller had that one poor decision trying to chip ahead from the wing that led to a Maori try last weekend, so a chance to redeem himself and show his decision making is up to standard at this level. Conor Trainor is still absent from the national side.
Pat Parfrey retains the flyhalf position with du Toit providing backup, no sign of Povey in the matchday 23 and Shane O'Leary is out with injury for the November tour, hoping to be ready for the World Cup qualifier in January. Phil Mack gets the start at #9 with Andrew Ferguson as backup.
Canada should have the edge in the backs over Georgia, 5 of the 7 Georgian backs are from the local leagues, only their scrum half, Vasil Lobzhanidze, is from the Top 14 league, playing in Brive. Their captain and #12, Merab Sharikadze, plays French D2 for Aurillac.
It's the forwards where Georgia will try to put the squeeze on Canada, they put out 7 professional players, 4 of them in the French Top 14 league.
Canada have dropped Buydens from the front row and brought in Jake Ilnicki. Djustice Sears Duru gets the start at loosehead, Barkwill at hooker and Ilnicki at tighthead. Eric Howard backs up Barkwill, Anthony Luca reserves at loosehead and Cole Keith comes back into the roster as backup to Ilnicki. Keith has been MIA since the card he received in the last match of the Americas Pacific Challenge versus USA.
Olmstead pairs with Josh Larsen in the second row, Larsen showing well against the Maori side. The loose forwards are similar to the Maori match with Lucas Rumball coming off the bench to replace Dustin Dobravsky who was taken from the field with a suspected concussion. Matt Heaton remains openside and Ardron #8. Providing backup in the second row and backrow are Baillie, Keys and Gilmour.
It will likely be a physical match decided in the forwards, Georgia will want to play the game inside Canada's half, force penalties and use their driving maul and pick and go to wear Canada down and put points on the board.
Canada will have to keep their discipline to avoid unnecessary penalties and try to use their advantage out wide where DTH, Paris and Coe should find space. If Canada's linking play is working there could be some memorable tries in the making. The kicking games of Parfrey and Coe will have to be spot on to keep Georgia under pressure and give Canada good field position.
It's a winnable match despite the difference in rankings, the games in recent years have been close. Georgia haven't been able to put up a lot of points, 13, 15, 19 in the last three matches against Canada so if Canada can manufacture 3 tries they have a good chance of finishing on top.
The game kicks off at 6am PT and will be on TSN GO according to Rugby Canada.
from Rugby Canada
TBILISI, GEORGIA – Canada head coach Kingsley Jones has made seven changes to his starting roster to face Georgia on Saturday in the second game and first official test match of the November international series.
Canada is fresh off a historic 51-9 loss to the Maori All Blacks in front of a sold-out crowd of 29,480 fans at BC Place in downtown Vancouver this past weekend. Following that match Jones’ outfit crossed the Atlantic and touched down in Tbilisi after over 40 hours of travel and three flights.
In the starting roster, Djustice Sears-Duru and Jake Ilnicki join stalwart Ray Barkwill, while Evan Olmstead – who come off the bench last weekend after landing in Vancouver less than 48 hours before facing the Maoris last weekend after being released by Newcastle Falcons – slots in beside Josh Larsen. Larsen, who plays for Northland in New Zealand’s ITM Cup, is set to win his first cap on Saturday for Canada.
Canada’s back three sees the return of Lucas Rumball, who missed all four of Canada’s summer internationals, alongside Matt Heaton and Tyler Ardron.
Canada’s backline sees three changes and four returnees from Friday’s contest in Vancouver; Victoria’s Phil Mack will captain the side from scrum-half, while Pat Parfrey, Brock Staller and Friday’s Man-of-the-Match Andrew Coe return to flyhalf, winger and fullback respectively.
Bolstering the roster by returning from their professional clubs will be winger Taylor Paris and centres Ciaran Hearn and DTH van der Merwe, who combine for 122 caps, 230 points and 45 tries.
Saturday marks the second time Canada and Georgia have faced each other this year, with the 12th world-ranked Lelos defeated the hosts 13-0 amid horrid weather conditions in June at the Calgary Rugby Park.
Following Saturday, Canada will depart for Madrid to face 19th ranked Spain on the 18th before closing out 2017 against 9th seeded Fiji in Narbonne, France on the 25th. Georgia takes on Wales at Principality Stadium in Cardiff following Saturday’s fixture, before closing out their autumn series against USA on the 25th at Meskhi Stadium.
All eyes are on January 27th at BC Place in Vancouver in the first leg of the 2019 Rugby World Cup qualifiers when Canada hosts Uruguay. With Canada looking to book their ticket to a ninth consecutive RWC in Japan, the contest has been dubbed the “biggest game of a generation” and Rugby Canada is encouraging all rugby & sport fans to purchase tickets and help send our men’s team to Tokyo: http://events.rugbycanada.ca
Canada’s Men’s Team to face Georgia:
1. Djustice Sears-Duru – (Ealing Trailfinders/Ontario Blues) Oakville, ON 2. Ray Barkwill – (Seattle Seawolves/Ontario Blues) Niagara Falls, ON 3. Jake Ilnicki – (Newcastle Falcons/BC Bears) Williams Lake, BC 4. Josh Larsen – (Northland) Parksville, BC 5. Evan Olmstead – (Newcastle Falcons/Prairie Wolf Pack) Vancouver, BC 6. Lucas Rumball – (Balmy Beach RFC/Ontario Blues) Mississauga, ON 7. Matt Heaton – (Darlington Mowden Park/Atlantic Rock) Godmanchester, QC 8. Tyler Ardron – (Chiefs/Ontario Blues) Lakefield, ON 9. Phil Mack – Captain (James Bay AA/BC Bears) Victoria, BC 10. Patrick Parfrey – (Swilers RFC/Atlantic Rock) St. John’s, NL 11. Taylor Paris – (Castres/Ontario Blues) Barrie, ON 12. Ciaran Hearn – (London Irish/Atlantic Rock) Conception Bay South, NL 13. DTH van der Merwe – (Newcastle Falcons) Victoria, BC 14. Brock Staller – (Meralomas RFC/BC Bears) Surrey, BC 15. Andrew Coe – (Markham Irish/Ontario Blues) Toronto, ON 16. Eric Howard – (Brantford Harlequins/Ontario Blues) Ottawa, ON 17. Anthony Luca – (Burnaby Lake RFC/BC Bears) Pitt Meadows, BC 18. Cole Keith – (James Bay AA/Atlantic Rock) Sussex, NB 19. Kyle Baillie – (London Scottish/Atlantic Rock) Summerside, PEI 20. Conor Keys – (UVIC Vikes/Atlantic Rock) Stittsville, ON 21. Kyle Gilmour – (St. Albert RFC/Prairie Wolf Pack) St. Albert, AB 22. Andrew Ferguson – (Oakville Crusaders/Ontario Blues) Mississauga, ON 23. Guiseppe du Toit – (UVIC Vikes/BC Bears) Maple Ridge, BC
Canada’s November international calendar:
Canada 9 – 51 Maori All Blacks
Canada vs. Georgia November 11th, 2017 Dinamo Arena, Tbilisi, Georgia 6pm local time (9am ET/6am PT) Broadcast details: TBD
Canada vs. Spain November 18th, 2017 Estadio Nacional Complutense, Madrid, Spain 4pm local time (10am ET/7am PT) Broadcast details: TBD
Canada vs. Fiji November 25th, 2017 France (TBD) Kick off time: TBD Broadcast details: TBD