Georgia came into this match as formidable veterans with a brutal scrum. Portugal had never won a Rugby World Cup game or beaten Georgia.
At 1:12 Georgian winger Akaki Tabutsadze opens the scoring with a cracking TRY off the back of some keep-the-ball-alive play. ჩვენ აქ არ ვართ ობობებთან სექსით is Georgian for “We’re not here to f*ck spiders“
Successful conversion by Tedo Abzhandadze. 7-0 to Georgia.
Frustrating scrum-half behaviour defies national and language boundaries at 6:30 when Georgian No. 9 Gela Aprasidze causes a push and shove session (and a penalty against Georgia) by deliberately preventing Portugal from playing-on quickly.
8:09 – Portugal get their first meaningful possession of the ball.
8:30 – Georgia win the second scrum of the match then kick it over the dead-ball line from all the way back at their own 22 line. Stadium de Toulouse is apparently normally a soccer field and the very hard ground will sees a few more kicks run dead. Spanners could make this his home ground for the sake of career averages.
15:02 Portugal infringe at the back of the breakdown with some vintage “not getting out of the way“. Georgia’s 10 Tedo Abzhandadze slots the 3-pointer to make the score 10-nil to Georgia.
17:00 Georgia win their own line-out and go on the burst – passing the ball to the Georgian scrum-half Gela Aprasidze for a try! Or is it? The TMO spots the knock-on by 9. NO TRY.
At 28 minutes Georgia has visited the Portuguese 22 seven times to Portugal’s one incursion.
30:53 Georgia win a penalty for Portugal’s 13 Giorgi Kveseladze being offside. Penalty kick successful. Score 13-nil to Georgia.
33:00 a series of penalty advantage to Portugal has the old-world imperialists make a cracking break from the half way line (established by the Treaty of Tordesillas in 1494). Portugal TRY to winger Raffaele Storti! The conversion attempt (by 9 Samuel Marques) is from the sideline and bounces off the right-hand post. Score stays 13:5.
35:48 broken play and helter-skelter. Portuguese prop Francisco Fernandes (the oldest player at the World Cup at 38 years old) makes an “Owen Farrell style” tackle and has a 10-minute rest on the sideline while the boffins decide whether to upgrade the Branco Alentejo to a Tinto Alentejo.
38:18 Georgia reach into the Brumbies’ bag of tricks to win a lineout, form a maul and push for the tryline – held up! (no try).
Halftime score 13:5 to Georgia. The first half belonged to Georgia, but the Portuguese are still in it with plenty of sevens-style spirit.
Prop Fernandes’ card to stay yellow.
45:50 Georgia put in a high tackle on Portugal’s 10 Jerónimo “pretty boy” Portela to the distress of young women in the Stadium de Toulouse crowd. To their relief, his face is undamaged. Portugal’s scrum-half Samuel Marques kicks an easy 3-points. Score 13:8.
Portugal seem to be finding their mojo for broken play and seem to have more speed and energy than the Georgians.
51:51 Referee Paul Williams (NZ) has a word with Stalin’s mob about the number of red-zone penalties. Marques kicks another 3-points to make the score 13:11.
56:36 Inside pass and Portugal score via an offload from 10 to winger Raffaele Storti who makes a 40 metre dash to the tryline to score. This is Storti’s second try of the day. Conversion successful to make the score 13:18 to Portugal!
60:00 Georgia take a quick tap & cross the tryline, but it’s held-up via heroic Portuguese defence.
64:20 Paul Williams tells the water-carriers to b*gger-off (as he has had to many times this game) for the Georgian scrum. Scrum penalty to Portugal! The commentators remark “You don’t see that every day!“.
Portugal have the ascendancy and their tails up and the crowd are right into it. Georgia have scored no points in the second half and will need a try to draw or a converted try to win.
75 to 76 mins – Georgia retain possession for an extraordinary 18 phases up-the-guts. Portugal steal the ball but incur a penalty because the ball wasn’t out of the ruck. Georgia kick for the sideline (over the corner post!) and Portugal protest that it has gone dead – to no avail.
Georgia win their lineout and form a maul that crashes over. The TMO confirm the TRY to Georgian No. 16 Tengizi Zamtaradze on his 6th test appearance. The commentators note that Zamtaradze has never started in a test match. Well done that camera-operator for getting the camera on the grass for a clear shot at the grounding. Score 18-18.
The tricky sideline conversion attempt by 22 Luka Matkava goes wide-right. Score still 18-18.
79:30 restart. Penalty to Portugal for Georgia holding on. Time is up with only a shot at goal to come. The Portuguese coaching box goes apesh!t.
Portuguese kicker No. 15 Nuno Sousa Guedes sends it wide-left. Score remains 18-18 at full time.
Portugal won’t get their first World Cup victory, but the crowd gives a standing ovation and the smiles on Portuguese players’ faces show the pride in that second-half performance.
It’s Portugal’s first RWC drawn result and (according to Eloise) the first time Portugal have scored two tries in a RWC game.
The Game Changer
In the post-match interviews Portugal coach Patrice Lagisquet spoke of his half-time speech to the effect of “We’re only down 13:5. Play your rugby and be yourself”. The Portuguese energy and elan in the second half was a joy to watch.
The Man of the Match
The on-ground man-of-the-match was Portuguese No 10 Jerónimo “pretty boy” Portela. The voting Taylor Swift fans have a fair point.
Tries: Tabutsadze (2 mins), Zamtaradze (78 mins)
Conversions: Abzhandadze (3 mins)
Penalties: Abzhandadze (16 mins, 32 mins)
Tries: Storti (34 mins, 57mins)
Conversions: Marques (58 mins)
Penalties: Marques (48 mins, 53mins)
Referee: Paul Williams (NZ)
Stadium: Stadium de Toulouse,Toulouse.