A big game of tough gentlemen: Georgian rugby team beats Russia
14 March, 2017
A big game of tough gentlemen: Georgian rugby team beats Russia
Week 4 of the Rugby Europe Championship saw Georgia host the arch-rivals Russia at the Tbilisi’s Dinamo Arena stadium. The game ended with Georgia’s victory 28-14, which makes it the 4th win in a row for the Lelos.

According to the statistics, Georgia has never lost to Russia since 1993, but the game bears the temper of a battle field and always draws a particular attention because of the 2008 war between the two countries, which left the part of
Georgia’s territory occupied by Russia and up to 150 000 people forced out of their homes.
geotv.ge
Georgian National Team. Photo by Georgia's Ministry of Sport and Youth Affairs

Right before the match, when the players were warming up for the game, we had a chance to speak to Milton Haig, the head coach of Georgian National Team. Talking about the mood before the battle, Mr Haig told Georgian Journal that ‘everybody is pretty calm’ and that this is the way they are trying to approach every match.
geotv.ge
Milton Haig, the head coach of Georgian National Team

“It always is a big game against Russia and one of the things we focus on is that we are trying to take emotions out of it, because when you add emotions to the sports, you make poor decisions, you don’t do the right things. So today it is considered just another game, but obviously it is a big game for us. They don’t need additional motivation, they just need clear heads,” the coach told us.

The Lelos opened the score pretty soon, on the 4th minute, when Giorgi Koshadze scored the first try. One of the most memorable moments of the match was a try by young Vasil Lobzhanidze, after a fabulous raid by Merab Kvirikashvili.
geotv.ge
Vasil Lobzhanidze with Merab Kvirikashvili in the background. Photo by Georgia's Ministry of Sport and Youth Affairs

The video depicting Kvirikashvili’s fabulous run between several Russian players became viral on the internet and Merab himself was named the Man of the Match.
geotv.ge
Merab Kvirikashvili  awarded Man of the Match In the framework of the HeforShe campaign. Photo: Georgia's Ministry of Sport and Youth Affairs

geotv.ge
Team-mate Davit Kacharava congratulates Merab Kvirikashvili

There were some significant moments outside the pitch as well, including when the audience performed a ‘Mexican Wave’ with their mobile phones illuminated. It was like the rugby stars were playing against the sky full of real stars.
geotv.ge
Another emotional moment was when one of the young men sitting in the audience, proposed to his girlfriend publicly. The moment was shown live on the scoreboard, with 55 000 people watching.

geotv.ge
The proposal at the stadium
geotv.ge

There were a couple of unpleasant incidents too, one of them taken place between the captain of Georgian team Mamuka Gorgodze and a Russian player, but the situation was soon brought to normal.

Another one concerned a group of Georgian fans who exposed a banner against Russia, which was taken down soon and followed by a short confrontation with the police.
geotv.ge

geotv.ge
A fan with Georgian flag ran into the field after the game

On the whole, the game proved to be full of respect to each other, which is one of the main approaches of the tough sport played by gentlemen. The Russian coach thanked Georgian fans and said that it is always enjoyable to play for such an audience. 
geotv.ge

geotv.ge

geotv.ge
Davit Kacharav's impressive try
geotv.ge

It should also be noted that the game was a part of the campaign Men in Solidarity of Gender Equality, which is a part of United Nations global campaign HeforShe.

Nodar Andghuladze, the former national rugby team player and now the Player Welfare Coordinator of the team told Georgian Journal, their main goal is to raise awareness on the topic:
geotv.ge
Nodar Andghuladze, Player Welfare Coordinator of Georgian National Team

“We are against any kind of violence, beginning from the so-called locker room talk to any other kind of violence, especially against women and girls. We try to to do everything to make at least one man change his mind. If at least one women is saved, then we can say that our mission is accomplished.”

This year their plan is to visit dozens of villages, where there are no rugby stadiums and talk to the locals not only about the sport, but also about the general values each rugby player follows. “These meetings are always based on a dialogue rather than a kind of lecture and this is exactly what brings good results,” Mr Andghuladze says.

In the frames of the project they have already opened several rugby schools in Georgia’s different regions, including conflict border-line villages of Shida Kartli.

This is not the only big mission Georgian rugby players are actively involved in.

There was another project called “We take rugby to the mountains,” with expeditions to the mountainous villages of Georgia, meeting children and telling them what the main values of this game are.

Levan Jobava, the author of the project "Rugby to this place" says, they went to more than 50 villages and met 1200 children, held three festivals. But the main success story is that three rugby teams were created and two teenagers were brought to Tbilisi where they play for the local teams.

But let’s go back to the Georgia-Russia game. After the match the traditional “third half” was held, where Georgian and Russian players celebrated the unforgettable evening, notwithstanding the result. Everybody noted that sports have to be perceived apart from politics and this is the very game they loves so much, a game
which unites every single one of them and that is why they call each other “brothers”.
geotv.ge
Photo: Georgian Rugby

geotv.ge
Photo by Georgia's Ministry of Sport and Youth Affairs

Related Stories:

Let’s meet Russia in good shape! – Motivational video of Georgian Rugby team

Warrior on the front line and at the stadium – A Georgian National Rugby Player


Six Nations 2017: Georgia - a coming force in world rugby

Print
Other Stories
England’s rugby team to train with Georgians this week
England’s forwards will take on their Georgian counterparts in a two-day training session on Tuesday and Wednesday
Georgian judoists claim 2 silver medals at Paris Grand Slam
Georgian judoka Lasha Shavdatuashvili, who is a Olympic champion,
Georgian rugby team’s thrilling win over Belgium 47:0
Georgia’s national rugby team handed a defeat to Belgium with 47:0 at the Aia Arena,
I am from Georgia, not from Gruzia – Levan Gorgadze's remark to Japanese journalists
Today, the main theme of the Japanese media is Georgian sumo wrestler Levan Gorgadze
England coach plans trip to Tbilisi for training camp with Georgia during the Six Nation
England’s national rugby team head coach Eddie Jones is thinking about flying his squad to Tbilisi
Basilashvilli bombed out of the Australian Open
The number one Georgian tennis player, Nikoloz Basilashvili, who is currently ranked 61st in the world,
Three Georgian sportsmen claim gold at World Judo Masters
Beka Gviniashvili, Varlam Liparteliani and Guram Tushishvili – these are the Georgian judokas who won gold medals
Georgian sportsman strikes gold at U23 World Wrestling Championship
Georgian freestyle wrestler Geno Petriashvili won the gold medal
Wales Online about the rise of rugby in Georgia - “where players bleed for their country”
Wales Online, the famous British website for news, sport, business and entertainment, publishes the article about the remarkable rising of Georgian rugby.
Georgian woman wins the title in para-fencing world championship
Irma Khetsuriani, leader of the Georgian National Para-fencing Team, won the title in the B-Group at World Championship.
Olympic champion Lasha Talakhadze sets new world record
Georgian Olympic champion Lasha Talakhadze has set a new world record
American Football Championship in Georgia
The final game of the Georgian National American Football Championship was held at the Rustavi city’s rugby stadium,
Football stars’ charity match in Tbilisi accumulated 403 214 GEL for Borjomi forest restoration
The charity match organized in Tbilisi has been over with the following score: 6-5 in favor of the World XI team versus GFF XI.
World’s football stars to hold charity match aimed in Georgia
Georgia’s Football Federation will hold a charity match World Stars for Georgia
Captain of the Georgian National Basketball Team Zaza Pachulia finishes his career
Zaza Pachulia, the captain of the Georgian National Basketball Team has ended his international career.
Zaza Pachulia, family threatened after Kawhi Leonard incident
After Zaza Pachulia injured Spurs forward Kawhi Leonard’s ankle in Game 1 of the Western Conference finals,
Legendary Georgian rugby player Mamuka Gorgodze leaves the National Team
Mamuka Gorgodze, the best Georgian rugby player of all times and the captain, is leaving the National Team.
Georgia’s national team of judokas wins European Championship
The Georgian National Judo Team won the European Championship.
Nana Dzagnidze claims first place at Women’s European Chess Championship
Nana Dzagnidze is the individual winner of Women’s European Chess Championship held in Riga, Latvia.
Georgia to Host World Rugby U20 Championship 2017
World Rugby U20 Championship 2017 will be held in Tbilisi and Kutaisi from May 31 to June 18.
Georgian wheelchair fencers claim medals at World Cup
Two Georgian wheelchair fencer ladies Irma Khetsuriani and Nina Tibilashvili claimed medals at the Wheelchair Fencing World Cup in Italy.
Warriors’ Zaza Pachulia carries on in father’s spirit
San Francisco Chronicle writes about famous Georgian basketball player Zaza Pachulia and the life he has gone through before achieving success.
The Sun: Foreign boxers fake stats to land lucrative fights with UK champs, a Georgian insider claims
“Fights against Dereck Chisora and Dillian Whyte are among those alleged to have been hit by the scam,” The Sun says.
Six Nations 2017: Georgia - a coming force in world rugby
The Six Nations is the exclusive club for European rugby's elite, and there is a queue of outsiders eager to force their way in.
Billionaire ex-PM Bidzina Ivanishvili funding Georgia's Six Nations bid – Daily Mail
There is a steel and glass palace — complete with its own shark tank — on the southern Tbilisi hillside that looks like the primary residence of a James Bond villain
PHOTO OF THE DAY
GEL Exchange Rate
Convertor
23.02.2018
24.02.2018
USD
1
USD
2.4669
2.4671
EUR
1
EUR
3.0321
3.0375
GBP
1
GBP
3.4280
3.4475
RUB
100
RUB
4.3466
4.3763
Other Stories
For the first time in the history of Sumo wrestling, a Georgian national has become the owner of the Emperor’s Cup.
Renowned Georgian chess player Nana Dzagnidze claimed the gold medal
It was in the beginning of the 1980s, when FC Dinamo Tbilisi was enjoying their best
The Georgian national rugby team defeated the U.S. squad at the Mikheil Meskhi stadium in Tbilisi on November 25.
Georgian athletes defeated British in sitting volleyball at the Invictus Games Toronto, Canada, 2017.
The national basketball team of Georgia defeated Israel at the Eurobasket
The Golden State Warriors, where Georgian basketball player Zaza Pachulia plays, regained the NBA title
Georgian team won three medals at the Sambo Championship, which was held in the capital of Belarus, Minsk
Easter in Georgia has numerous traditions and rituals associated with it, but for inhabitants of Guria the greatest Christian holiday would be incomplete
On March 19, Georgian National Rugby Team lost their last and decisive Rugby Europe Championship game against Romania (7-8)
GEL Exchange
USD
1
USD
2.4671
EUR
1
EUR
3.0375
GBP
1
GBP
3.4475
RUB
100
RUB
4.3763