Georgia deliver rugby earthquake earthquake shock as Matkavas late penalty stuns Wales | Autumn Nations Series

Wayne Pivac has raised questions about his future after a humiliating Autumn Nations Series home loss to Georgia. With less than 10 months to go before the World Cup, Wales suffered one of their most embarrassing defeats, 12-13.

Georgia followed Italy with a famous win in Cardiff earlier this year, adding to Wales’ catalog of greatest horrors, which also includes defeats by Romania (1988), Canada (1993) and Samoa (2012).

Wales have won just three of their 11 games this year and Pivac – who succeeded fellow New Zealander Warren Gatland after the 2019 World Cup – will now inevitably feel the heat mounting in next weekend’s clash with Australia.

“You’ve seen a lot of results going against the form book at the moment and our result is one of them,” Pivac said. “I’ll be here starting tomorrow morning, rolling up my sleeves, and we’ll formulate a plan for the week.

“We’re here to do a job, we’re focused on working towards the World Cup. This is clearly a setback and we are not proud of this result.”

When asked if he felt his position was now under threat, Pivac added: “That too is a question for others, I would guess. We made it [turned things around] Before. Unfortunately, I think we had to do it once too often. It’s not a pretty place.

“Seven days is a long time in rugby and we’ll be looking at everything, including breaking down the game. We have to make sure that in seven days we can deliver the performance that we are all happy and proud of.”

Former Wales stars Sam Warburton and Jamie Roberts have been vocal in their criticism of Wales’ performance after failing to score after flanker Jac Morgan’s second try in the 24th minute.

Tedo Abzhandadze put Georgia ahead in the second minute but Wales fell in the 20th minute after the lock, Adam Beard won the lineout ball and flanker Morgan rushed over for a try which Rhys Priestland converted for the 7th : 3.

Morgan struck again just three minutes later, conceding a pass from scrum half Tomos Williams and Wales, who thought they had scored again eight minutes before the break when Josh Adams finished impressively after a kick and a chase, but Williams’ Pass to him was decided forward .

Wales players show their dejection after defeat by Georgia
Wales players show their dejection after defeat by Georgia. Photo: Joe Giddens/PA

It was a disappointment for Georgia and they suffered no further damage on the scoreboard as Wales led 12-3 at half-time.

Georgia failed to capitalize on a yellow card for Alex Cuthbert early in the second half, but reduced the deficit to two points when Sandro Todua intercepted a well-placed free-kick and crossed unchallenged in the 59th minute, Abzhandadze’s conversion making it 12-10.

A long-range effort from substitute Luka Matkava with two minutes left then inflicted immense pain on Wales – and the countries will meet again at next year’s World Cup.

Pivac said: “We will review everything and leave no stone unturned in the review process. We didn’t have continuity in the second half and were probably second in a lot of clashes and header play.

“Every time you lose a game it leaves a scar. Next week will be no different. We need a big week and a very strong performance.”

Wales captain Justin Tipuric said: “It felt like a stop-start out there. We would have some momentum and then lose it. You can say as much as you want out there, but if the reactions don’t materialize – which wasn’t the case today – then you will be left behind.

“There are ups and downs in rugby. This is definitely a down moment. We have to stick together. On our day we are a quality team so we have to fire next week.

“It’s tough to be the first Welsh team to lose to Georgia. Unfortunately you’re having these rough days in your career and now it’s about how we react. We’re letting each other down and it’s a disappointed dressing room.”

Georgia head coach Levan Maisashvili showered his players with praise after the biggest day in his country’s rugby history.

“It means everything to us. Not for rugby, the team, but for the country,” he said. “It’s not easy to win against the Welsh in Cardiff. We are a small country and we need examples like this.

“It was confidence, then it was patience and not thinking about mistakes. We can play for each other better than anyone in rugby. I told the guys beforehand that we might not be as skilled, but we have a lot more struggle in us.”

Source