Friday, November 19, 2010

Georgia vs Canada - Preview

Tommorrow history will be made in Tblissi, Georgia when the former Soviet Republic hosts Canada for the first time ever in a match putting the top Rugby World Cup qualifying teams from Europe and The Americas head-to-head in what will be a very competitive game of rugby between number 14 and 17 in the world at present. It is to take place at the national stadium in Tblissi which hosts 60,000 people and looks like attracting thousands of people for this match. Going off internet sources there is indeed a buzz in the country with a strong crowd expected. The match can be watched live on line on the following source:

Following Canada´s big win in Madrid vs Spain last weekend, coach Kieran Crowley has opted for some changes as his side lines up the toughest match of their four test European tour. Georgia are famous for their forward power. Teams unable to defeat the Georgians upfront often have difficulties in winning regardless of how good their backs are. The Lelos famously demonstated this in Bordeaux vs Ireland during France 2007 in what was almost the biggest upset of all time.

Canada have selected Glasgow Warriors prop Kevin Tkachuk for his first start this year in what will be his 54th test appearance for his country. The other change in the forwards sees Jebb Sinclair, normally a backrower, start in the secondrow. 20 year old Conor Braid earns will be on debut for Canada and play flyhalf. The impressive youngster was a breakthrough player for the Canadians in last months Americas Rugby Championship in Argentina. In the backthree changes see James Pritchard move from fullback to the left wing with Ciaran Hearn taking over at fullback and Justin Mensah Coker starting at right wing.

The match kicks off at 14:00 local time (5 AM EST – 2 AM PST) on Saturday.

The winner of this is rugby. A groundbreaking match for both sides. A massive forward battle awaits in Tblissi. The only way to win this match is to control the breakdown. The North Americans have selected a team with this in mind. Their backrow will need to arrive ahead of the Georgians or else be force to defend for most of the match. Canada, though, should be the better side with more experience as a national team and an impressive history of playing at every Rugby World Cup. They will look to their star centre, van der Merwe to break the Lelos defence. Canada to win by 10 points.

To be named

1. Kevin Tkachuk (Glasgow Warriors, Scotland)
2. Pat Riordan (BC Bears)
3. Jason Marshall (BC Bears)
4. Josh Jackson (Stade Montois, France)
5. Jebb Sinclair (The Rock)
6. Chauncey O'Toole (The Rock)
7. Adam Kleeberger (Auckland, New Zealand)
8. Aaron Carpenter (Plymouth Albion, England)
9. Sean White (BC Bears)
10. Connor Braid (BC Bears)
11. James Pritchard (Bedford Blues, England)
12. Phillip Mackenzie (Esher RFC, England)
13. DTH van der Merwe (Glasgow Warriors, Scotland)
14. Justin Mensah-Coker (Unattached)
15. Ciaran Hearn (The Rock)

16. Tom Dolezel (Prairie Wolf Pack)
17. Andrew Tiedemann (Prairie Wolf Pack)
18. Jon Phelan (The Rock)
19. Tyler Hotson (Plymouth Albion, England)
20. Sean Michael Stephen (Plymouth Albion, England)
21. Jamie Mackenzie (Ontario Blues)
22. Nick Blevins (Prairie Wolf Pack)


  1. Prediction - Canada to win by 10 points.
    Result - Georgia won by 7 points.

  2. Georgia really performed well. Their tight game based around forward supremacy proved not only effective but very smart too.

    A team for the future no doubt.