Georgia beats Fiji 14-3 in June international

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Georgia

Georgia

Georgia flyhalf Lasha Khmaladze scored the only try in a 14-3 win over Fiji on Friday, ending its three-test tour of the Pacific Islands unbeaten.

Georgia, ranked 12th in the world, had drawn 19-19 with 14th-ranked Samoa and had beaten 15th-ranked Tonga 23-20 before ending its tour on a high note with victory over 10th-ranked Fiji.

The teams went to halftime locked at 3-3, before Khmaladze's try at the start of the second half gave Georgia a lead it refused to surrender.

Fullback Merab Kvirikashvili opened the scoring with a penalty that was quickly answered by Fiji flyhalf Ben Volavola. Kvirikashvili missed the conversion of Khmaladze's try but added two more penalties, including one in the last minute which clinched the win.

The result also ended Fiji's unbeaten run in June test matches after it had beaten Samoa and Tonga to retain the Pacific Nations Cup. Samoa and Tonga are due to meet in the final match of that tournament on Saturday.

"Our aim was to win all games in June so it is disappointing to lose the final match," Fiji coach John McKee said. "The match against Samoa last week which was also a World Cup qualifier was very good and I was looking forward to a continuation of that but things didn't go our way."

McKee said Fiji would now begin to plan for its test matches in Europe in November.

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Georgia 14 (Lasha Khmaladze try; Merab Kvirikashvili 3 penalties), Fiji 3 (Ben Volavola penalty). HT: 3-3.

-AP

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