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Canada's men's rugby team loses road match to Georgia

The Canadian Press

11/9/2013 12:40:34 PM

TBILISI -- Liam Underwood went three-for-four and Harry Jones went two-for-two on penalties as Canada's senior men's rugby team lost a close match to Georgia 19-15 on Saturday.

Georgian fullback Merab Kvirikashvili kicked 14 points and winger Tedore Zibzibadze scored the lone try to seal the victory.

The first half saw both teams exchange possession through turnovers, tactical kicking and errors. Underwood and Kvirikashvili exchanged penalties to keep the game close.

The game would take a dramatic turn at the 36-minute mark. Off a set piece, Georgian flanker Viktor Kolelishvili threw a dangerous high tackle on flyhalf Underwood, which caused a multi-player skirmish between both sides.

Kolelishvili and Canadian captain Ardron would each receive red cards, reducing both teams to 14 men for the remainder of the game.

Canada also lost the services of Underwood after the tackle and hooker Ray Barkwill. Benoit Piffero, who plays for Blagnac Sporting Club in France, would replace Barkwill for his first cap for Canada and Blevins would replace Underwood.

Jones would add three points off the boot from the original penalty, giving Canada a 12-9 lead heading into halftime.

The second half, however, didn't go Canada's way. Zibzibadze touched down for a try in the left corner at the 51-minute mark for Georgia. The try, which would be the only score of the game, gave Georgia a 16-12 lead.

Despite a number of line breaks from the backs, including two from Conor Trainor, Canada could not score. Georgia maintained possession through their scrummages and lineouts, and Canada couldn't break the home side's defence.

Kvirikashvili added another penalty at the 61-minute mark to further the lead to 19-15 and seal the victory.

Canada will now travel to Bucharest to face Romania on Nov. 16 before finishing 2013 in Lisbon against Portugal on Nov. 23.