Scotland v Georgia: Key talking points in the Under-20 Six Nations Summer Series

·3-min read
Nikolozi Sutidze scores a try for Georgia in the win over Scotland
Nikolozi Sutidze scores a try for Georgia in the win over Scotland

Georgia finally got the win their Under-20 Six Nations Summer Series performances deserved with a commanding 55-17 success over Scotland, writes Ben Hart.

Victory keeps them third in Pool B and they will now take on France in a play-off for fifth, while Scotland will do battle with Ireland for seventh spot.

Scotland started well and opened up a 12-0 lead courtesy of Christian Townsend and Andrew Stirrat but could only muster one score thereafter, courtesy of Max Williamson.

Rati Zazadze and Beka Shvangiradze each bagged a brace for the Junior Lelos, with Alexandre Kuntelia, Shalva Aptsiauri, Paata Galdava and Nikoloz Babunashvili also on the scoresheet.

Key player – Rati Zazadze

This award could easily have gone to any of Georgia’s forwards, such was their influence on the game.

But the influence Rati Zazadze had on the contest cannot be ignored.

The openside notched two tries, the first of which brought Georgia back into the game after their early struggles.

He then forced a key turnover when Scotland looked like working their way back into the tie just after half-time with just 14 points between the two sides.

A second score soon followed and when he was finally withdrawn, he was greeted with a standing ovation from his teammates when taking his seat on the substitutes bench.

Play of the game – Nothing these Georgia forwards cannot do

It was all about the lineout last week for Georgia but they showed the full might of their set-piece in the first half against Scotland.

They had already scored a carbon copy of their third try against Wales here with Beka Shvangiradze powering over from the back of another unstoppable lineout drive.

But it was their aggression in the scrum which really caught the eye on the stroke of half time. For once, Georgia were foiled at the lineout, but their forwards were not deterred.

Alexandre Kuntelia had the upper hand on Iain Carmichael for much of the first half, so much so that he was able to force a turnover on Scotland’s line courtesy of a phenomenal push.

It was perhaps fitting that the tighthead was the player to score a couple of phases later, with his sheer power a constant issue for Scotland throughout the first half, with that try the primary example.

Key talking point – Georgia’s forwards will relish a battle with France

If France are feeling at all sorry for themselves having missed out on top spot in Pool A, the last team they will want to face are this Georgia side.

Les Bleuets struggled against the might of the Junior Boks pack and may incur similar problems in Treviso next Tuesday.

Such is their desire to overpower their opponents, Georgia’s replacement hooker Nika Sutidze threw his scrum-cap to the ground in disgust when Georgia opted for a shot-at-goal when 33-12 up, rather than kicking to the corner.

Georgia certainly won’t approach that contest as merely a tussle for fifth.

Key moment – Zazadze’s crunching hit

Scotland started the second half just as brightly as they had started the first. All that was missing was points to show for their endeavours.

It looked as though that opportunity might come when scrum-half Ben Afshar spotted a significant overload on the blind side with Scotland in possession on Georgia’s 22.

The ball found its way to captain Rhys Tait, who offloaded to Kerr Johnston just before contact. But winger Johnston was flattened by flanker Zazadze, with the Gala flyer knocking the ball forward in the tackle such was the might of the hit from first-half try scorer Zazadze.

Possession exchanged hands there and within five minutes Georgia had crossed again. And who has on the end of the score? The invincible Zazadze.

The Six Nations Under-20 Summer Series takes place from 24 June – 12 July. Fans can watch every match live. For more information visit: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCJHm6BFw-9JRA1CMekNLwMg

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