All you need to know about the first match in Pool C - and the first upset of the tournament.


Georgia produced the first shock of the 2015 World Cup as they beat Tonga – who sit five places above them in the World Rugby Rankings – 17-10 at Kingsholm.

Tonga took the lead with a sixth-minute penalty but had to wait another 65 minutes before troubling the scorers again.

A first-half try from Man of the Match and Georgia skipper Mamuka Gorgodze, a 56th-minute score from Giorgi Tkhilaishvili and seven points from the boot of Merab Kvirikashvili gave Georgia a 17-3 lead and although Tonga hit back with a try from Fetu’u Vainikolo nine minutes from time and Georgia lost Kvirikashvili to the sin-bin, the Lelos held out for a famous win.

Record breaker: Georgia scrum-half Vasil Lobzhanidze became the youngest RWC player (Photo: Getty Images).

Record breaker: Scrum-half Vasil Lobzhanidze became the youngest RWC player (Photo: Getty Images).


Mamuka Gorgodze – a monumental presence in this match. He led his Georgia side superbly, crashed over for a crucial try, carried the ball in attack eight times and was at the heart of his team’s defensive effort, making an astonishing 27 tackles. No wonder the No8  was Man of the Match.

The atmosphere – a sun-soaked Kingsholm crackled, fizzed and almost exploded as the game built to a magnificent, noisy crescendo. The chanting of the Georgia fans made it feel like a home game for the Lelos for much of the time and thousands of enthusiastic locals who had adopted a team for the day, or just come to enjoy the return of World Cup rugby to Kingsholm after a 24-year break, made this a great occasion.

Georgia’s scrum-half Vasil Lobzhanidze – he made history by becoming the youngest player to take part in a Rugby World Cup, at 18 years and 340 days, but he did not look out of place at this level. He made good decisions, passed and kicked well and has been tipped by coach Milton Haig to be a fixture in his team up to the 2019 World Cup and beyond.

Full English breakfast in the media centre – delicious! Just what the doctor ordered before this early kick-off.

All in Vain: Tonga wing Fetu'u Vainikolo dives in for a try but it was not no avail. (Photo: Getty Images)

All in Vain: Tonga wing Fetu’u Vainikolo dives in for a try but it was not no avail. (Photo: Getty Images)


Tongas’s handling – they dominated the territory and possession stats, but Tonga dropped so many passes that they failed to turn pressure into points. They improved in the last quarter and at that stage it was Georgia’s outstanding defence which kept them at bay, but their poor skills in the first half suggest they might not have been as switched on as they should have been.

Decision-making – Tonga butchered a few try-scoring chances with poor decision-making. Twice Kurt Morath opted to kick through the Georgian defence when his team were battering away inside the 22 and neither kick resulted in a try.


213- the number of tackles Georgia made, compared to 48 from Tonga.

28% – Georgia’s share of the possession. They only had 26% of the territory too, but still came out on top.

16 – the number of turnovers conceded by Tonga. Georgia conceded 13.

13 – the age of Georgia’s replacement lock Levan Datunashvili when his young team-mate Vasil Lobzhanidze was born.

Tonga: V. Lilo; T Veainu, W Helu (S Piukala 52), S Piutau, F Vainikolo; K Morath, S Takulua; T Mailau (S Taumalolo 52), E Taione (P Ngauamo 52), H Aulika (S Puafisi 65), T Lokotui, S Mafi (H T-Pole 59), S Kalamafoni, N Latu (capt, J Ram 71), V Ma’afu.

Try: Vainikolo. Con: Morath

Pen: Morath

Georgia: M Kvirikashvili; T Mchedlidze, D Kacharava, M Sharikadze, G Aptsiauri; L Malaguradze, V Lobzhanidze (G Begadze 78); M Nariashvili (K Asieshvili 60), J Bregvadze (S Mamukashvili 60), D Zirakashvili (L Chilachava 60), G Nemsadze, K Mikautadze (L Datunashvili 63), G Tkhilaishvili (S Sutiashvili 66), V Kolelishvili, M Gorgodze (capt)

Tries (2): Gorgodze, Tkhilaishvili. Cons: Kvirikashvili 2

Pen: Kvirikashvili

Sin-bin: Kvirikashvili 73 min

Referee: Nigel Owens (Wales)

Man of the Match: Mamuka Gorgodze

Attendance: 14,200