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Last Updated: Friday, 24 October, 2003, 11:55 GMT 12:55 UK
Georgia push sloppy Boks
Georgia celebrate their opening World Cup try
Georgia: 19
Try: Dadunashvili
Con: Jimsheladze
Pen: Jimsheladze (3), Kvirikashvili
South Africa: 46
Tries: Rossouw (2), Hougaard, van Niekerk, Fourie, Botha, Burger
Con: Hougaard (4)
Pen: Hougaard

Georgia 19-46 South Africa

South Africa stumbled to an unconvincing 46-19 victory over an ever-improving Georgia in Sydney's Aussie Stadium on Friday.

With 20 minutes to go, Georgia trailed by just 13 points when hooker David Dadunashvili flopped over from close range for his side's first World Cup try.

New Zealand had earlier dispatched Tonga in a 13-try rout in Brisbane and South Africa were expected to continue in similar vein, despite fielding 10 changes.

After a slow start, Rudolph Straeuli's side did manage to cross for seven tries.

But again they looked sloppy in attack in a match that failed to dispel the team's growing reputation as nothing more than World Cup wannabes.

Fly-half Derick Hougaard finished the match with 20 points to cap a fine performance and leave Springbok fans wondering exactly why he had failed to make an appearance against England.

It's something we're going to work on
Stand-in SA captain John Smit
Louis Koen misfired badly with the boot in Perth, but Hougaard had no such problem and looked every inch the player who has become so vital for the ever-improving Blue Bulls.

Danie Rossouw, Hougaard himself and Joe van Niekerk all crossed during a poor opening half in which Georgia competed well.

The eastern Europeans pushed the Boks back into their half for long periods and certainly deserved more than two penalties from Paliko Jimsheladze.

The Georgian fly-half added his 23rd point of the tournament with his third penalty after the break, but only after Rossouw had grabbed his second with a powerful 20 metre surge.

Tonight you saw some of the true face of Georgia
Georgia coach Claude Saurel
The second half had started more positively than the first, but there was still little for the Springbok fans to admire, particularly when Hendro Scholtz was yellow carded for off-side.

Unsurprisingly Dadunashvili's try was rewarded with the loudest cheer of the evening and Georgia added another three points from the boot of substitute Merab Kvirikashvili.

Tries from Jaque Fourie, Bakkies Botha and debutant Schalk Burger flattered the Springboks late on and they now face a winner-takes-all clash against Samoa for the runners-up spot in Pool C.

On this performance, it is a game South Africa should be far from confident of winning.


South Africa: R Loubscher; S Terblanche, J Fourie, W Greeff, B Paulse; D Hougaard, N de Kock; L Sephaka, J Smit (capt), F Rautenbach, B Botha, S Boome, H Scholtz, D Rossouw, J van Niekerk
Replacements: D Santon, C Bezuidenhout, V Matfield, S Burger, J v d Westhuizen, L Koen, J Muller

Georgia: I Machkhaneli; G Khonelidze, O Eloshivili, V Katsadze (capt), A Kavtarashvili; P Jimsheladze, I Modebadze; A Kopaliani, D Dadunashvili, A Margvelashvili, S Gujaraidze, V Didebulidze, D Bolgashvili, G Tsiklauri, G Chkhaidze
Replacements: A Giorgadze, S Nikolaenko, I Zedginidze, G Yachvili, I Abuseridze, M Kvirikashvili, B Khamashuridze





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