8 Oct 2015

Georgia pick up second win at World Cup

11:25 am on 8 October 2015

Georgia overcame an error-strewn performance to squeeze past Namibia 17-16 at Sandy Park in their last Rugby World Cup Pool C game and take a giant stride towards automatic qualification for the 2019 tournament.

Georgian rugby fan RWC2015

Georgian rugby fan RWC2015 Photo: PHOTOSPORT

Georgia's second win meant they will finish third in Pool C - and qualify automatically for Japan in four years time - as long as Tonga lose, as expected, to World Cup holders New Zealand on Saturday.

Look back at live commentary here

Namibia, largely outplayed but full of valour and effort, set a landmark of their own by leading a World Cup match at half-time but could not hold on to their 6-0 advantage and thus remain winless in 18 tournament appearances stretching back to 1999.

They did, however, collect a bonus point for losing by less than seven, their first-ever World Cup point.

Georgia scored tries through Mamuka Gorgodze and Lasha Malaguradze while Merab Kvirikashvili kicked two conversions and a penalty

All Namibia's points came from first-five Theuns Kotze with a dramatic late try, a conversion and three penalties.

The African side had hung in through the first half despite being overwhelmed by Georgia and through much of the second period, even when down to 13 men. They also lost inspirational captain Jacques Burger to a head injury after 10 minutes and picked up three sin-binnings.

"It wasn't our finest game but we are very happy to have qualified straight for the next World Cup. We had a lot of opportunities but sometimes you have days like these where you don't take them," Georgia captain Gorgodze told reporters.

"I'm massively proud of the way we fought back and the heart we showed. It was tough watching. It was nerve-wracking. We deserved a win today. We fought incredibly hard," said Burger, whose team play Argentina in Leicester on Monday.

- Reuters

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