Mamuka Gorgodze became Georgia’s record try-scorer as the Lelos beat Romania 25-9 in their Pool B match at Arena Manawatu.
Gorgodze crashed over in the 56th minute for his 19th Test try after the Georgians had laid siege to the Romanian line, stringing together 17 phases. Merab Kvirikashvili’s conversion made it 19-6.
Kvirikashvili and Romanian replacement full back Florin Adrian Vlaicu traded penalties to make it 22-9, then Malkhaz Urjukashvili took over the kicking duties to put Georgia 25-9 ahead.
Goalkicking dominated the first half, with Georgia fly half Kvirikashvili kicking all four penalty chances and his opposite number Marin Danut Dumbrava slotting two to leave the Lelos 12-6 ahead.
There was plenty of attacking endeavour from both sides but it was matched by defensive commitment.
The Romanian scrum got an early nudge on their opponents, showing the benefits of former All Black prop Steve McDowall’s coaching role.
A penalty from a collapsed scrum gave Romania fly half Dumbrava an early chance but his kick failed.
His opposite number Kvirikashvili didn’t miss, putting Georgia 3-0 up, but Dumbrava soon hit back to level.
Another two penalties from Kvirikashvili nudged the score along to 9-3 before the fly halves exchanged kicks before the break for Georgia to go in 12-6 ahead.