Georgia returned to the victory trail when they registered a hard-fought 20-16 triumph over Samoa in Tbilisi on Saturday.
As the scoreline suggests, this was a tight contest and the home side’s forwards deserve plenty of credit for the result as they laid the platform to victory with a dominant display in the tight exchanges.
Georgia outscored their visitors by two tries to one with both their five-pointers coming in the first half when they dominated scrums close to Samoa’s try-line.
The visitors opened the scoring via a Patrick Faapale penalty before Georgia were awarded a penalty try in the 12th minute when Samoa’s forwards capitulated at a scrum on their five-metre line.
Merab Kvirikashvili added the extras but Samoa regained the lead when George Pisi crossed for their only try in the 20th minute. Georgia finished the half stronger thanks to a converted Beka Bitsadze try and a Kvirikashvili penalty, which meant they led 17-10 at half-time.
Samoa were more competitive in the second half and reduced the deficit to a point when Faapale slotted two penalties but Kvirikashvili secured victory for Georgia with a three-pointer from the kicking tee on the hour mark.
For Georgia: 20
Tries: Penalty Try, Bitsadze
Cons: Kvirikashvili 2
Pens: Kvirikashvili 2
For Samoa: 16
Try: G Pisi
Pens: Faapale 3
Georgia: 15 Merab Kvirikashvili, 14 Tamaz Mtchedlidze, 13 Giorgi Koshadze, 12 Merab Sharikadze, 11 Sandro Todua, 10 Lasha Malaghuradze, 9 Vasil Lobzhanidze, 8 Beka Bitsadze, 7 Mamuka Gorgodze (c), 6 Vito Kolelishvili, 5 Giorgi Nemsadze, 4 Kote Mikautadze, 3 Levan Chilachava, 2 Jaba Bregvadze, 1 Mikheil Nariashvili
Replacements: 16 Badri Alkhazashvili, 17 Kakha Asieshvili, 18 Dudu Kubriashvili, 19 Shalva Sutiashvili, 20 Giorgi Tkhilaishvili, 21 Giorgi Begadze, 22 Revaz Jintchvelashvili, 23 Giorgi Aptsiauri
Samoa: 15 Albert Nikori, 14 Paul Perez, 13 George Pisi, 12 Rey Lee-Lo, 11 David Lemi (c), 10 Patrick Faapale, 9 Kahn Fotuali’i, 8 Alafoti Faosiliva, 7 Gregory Foe, 6 Jack Lam, 5 Filo Paulo, 4 Jeff Lepa, 3 Anthony Perenise, 2 Manu Leaiataua, 1 Logovi’i Mulipola
Replacements: 16 Elia Elia, 17 Hisa Sasagi, 18 Nephi Leatigaga, 19 Talaga Alofipo, 20 Genesis Mamea-Lemalu, 21 Oneone Faafou, 22 Pele Cowley, 23 D’Angelo Leuila
Referee: Alexandre Ruiz (France)
Assistant Referees: JP Doyle (England), Tom Foley (England)