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Captain Gorgodze inspires Georgia to a famous win; TONGA .............................10 GEORGIA .........................17.

INSPIRED by captain Mamuka Gorgodze, Georgia held off a desperate second-half surge by Tonga to secure a surprise win over the Pacific Islanders in their Rugby World Cup opener.

Gorgodze, the number eight nicknamed Gorgodzilla for his mighty bulk, was named man of the match after leading by example in a tense and bone-crunching encounter.

"I have big emotions, I think all national team of Georgia were man of the match, it is not only me," he said after Georgia's delighted players had sealed only their third ever World Cup victory and wrapped themselves in the national flag.

Georgia coach Milton Haig said:"Today was pretty historic for everyone involved in Georgian rugby, and we are very pleased.

"This is the best-prepared side ever to leave Georgia, and today we showed that. Fitness-wise, we were able to sustain our defence over 80 minutes, and that allowed us to come away with the win."

Gorgodze's converted try helped Georgia to a 10-3 half-time leadand Giorgi Tkhilaishvili scored in the corner for their second try after the break, but Fetu'u Vainikolo's converted try gave Tonga hope.

Georgia held firm despite playing the last eight minutes with 14 men with Merab Kvirikashvili sinbinned.

The result has wider implications with either of these sides hoping to finish at least third in the group in order to seal automatic qualification for the 2019 Rugby World Cup.

CAPTION(S):

Georgia<Bcaptain Mamuka Gorgodze is mobbed by his teammates after scoring

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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales)
Date:Sep 21, 2015
Words:244
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