Rugby World Cup 2003
Three try Uruguay get past Georgia
October 28, 2003
Uruguay players celebrate their victory over Georgia
© Getty Images
Crowd favourites Georgia left Aussie Stadium in tears as they bowed out of the World Cup empty-handed. Four days after giving South Africa such a torrid time at the same venue, the Georgians could not muster the same spirit a second time, conceding three tries to the South Americans, who were never behind.
Awaiting a certain hammering by England in Brisbane this weekend, Uruguay threw everything at their opponents from the start, establishing a clear dominance in the pack which eventually brought them their first two touchdowns.
Paliko Jimsheladze, a hero on Friday, failed his early kicking test, missing two penalties for the Georgians either side of a successful Juan Menchaca effort for their opponents.
Malkhaz Urjukashvili took responsibility when Georgia were next awarded a shot at goal and promptly levelled, although parity lasted just four minutes as the South Americans launched their first concerted forward raid.
Brave Georgian defence kept them out but when play switched across the field, Alfonso Cardoso was on the end of a Uruguayan line which had created a three-on-one overlap and the winger darted in at the corner.
Skipper Diego Aguirre converted but failed to increase his side's lead with a couple of penalty chances which followed and Georgia were still in the hunt at half-time.
The introduction of Merab Kvirikashvili brought the stadium announcer into a cold sweat as he struggled to confirm his appearance and then it was the Uruguayans' turn to come under pressure as the replacement fly-half landed two quick penalties to pull his side to within a point.
With the majority backing of another large crowd, the Europeans looked primed to sweep into the lead as their opponents defence started to get ragged.
Doggedly, Uruguay refused to lie down in a contest which was growing increasingly more physical as tiredness took hold and after another powerful pack drive, hooker Diego Lamelas peeled off a maul and dived gratefully over the line.
It seemed the game was won, only for Kvirikashvili to slot over his third penalty to bring Georgia back within striking distance until Nicolas Brignoni darted home to finish them off two minutes from time.