Cover photo by Tamuna Kulumbegashvili
November, 23. Georiga, Tbilisi. Georgia caused a big upset at Mikheil Meskhi Stadium as they battled past Samoa 16-15 on Saturday, a team sat 11 places above them in the rankings.
The result was some turnaround from last week's 25-23 loss at home to the USA, as the Georgians left nothing in the tank against the islanders.
While they were outscored two to one on the try chart after Alapati Leiua and Jack Lam's first-half efforts, Merab Sharikadze's effort four minutes after the turnaround put them into a 13-12 lead.
And despite Samoa landing a 70th minute penalty from Tusi Pisi to add to his one from the touchline on the half-hour mark, Georgia full-back Merab Kvirikashbili would be the hero as time ticked on.
Kvirikashbili fired over the final three of his eleven points on the day in added time before the hosts fought off a late barrage until the final whistle.
Pen: Kvirikashbili 3
Tries: Leiua, Lam
Georgia: 15 Merab Kvirikashbili, 14 Tamaz Mtchedlidze, 13 Davit Kacharava, 12 Merab Sharikadze, 11 Giorgi Shkinin, 10 Lasha Khmaladze, 9 Giorgi Begadze, 8 Giorgi Chkhaidze, 7 Mamuka Gorgodze (c), 6 Giorgi Tkhilaishvili, 5 Levan Datunashvili, 4 Konstantine Mikautadze, 3 Levan Chilachava, 2 Shalva Mamukashvili, 1 Mikheil Nariashvili.
Replacements: 16 Simon Maisuradze, 17 Zurab Zhvania, 18 Davit Kubriashvili, 19 Girogi Nemsadze, 20 Shalva Sutiashvili, 21 Vazha Khutsishvili, 22 Tedore Zibzibadze, 23 Beka Tsiklauri.
Samoa: 15 Faatoina Autagavaia, 14 Alapati Leiua, 13 Isaia Tuifua, 12 Johnny Leota, 11 Brando Vaaulu, 10 Tusi Pisi, 9 Kahn Fotualii (c), 8 Faifili Levave, 7 Jack Lam, 6 Ofisa Treviranus, 5 Teofilo Paulo, 4 Piula Faasalele, 3 James Johnston, 2 Tii Paulo, 1 Sakaria Taulafo.
Replacements: 16 Wayne Ole Avei, 17 Viliamu Afatia, 18 Anthony Perenise, 19 Joe Tekori, 20 Taisina Tuifua, 21 Jeremy Sua, 22 Sinoti Sinoti, 23 Ken Pisi.
Referee: Romain Poite (France)
Assistant referees: Andrew McMenemy (Scotland), Vlad Jordachescu (Romania)