Shambolic Wales leaves boss Wayne Pivac on the sidelines as Georgia celebrate their biggest win – WRU should act decisively but that looks unlikely
- A 12-13 home loss to Georgia was the darkest day in recent Welsh rugby history
- The result certainly leaves pressured head coach Wayne Pivac on the brink
- But the win over Wales in Cardiff is cause for celebration for Lelos’ struggling side
Drinks continued to flow at Georgia’s hotel in Cardiff on Sunday morning.
Head coach Levan Maisashvili and President Soso Tkemaladze sat around a table with a bottle of Scotch in the middle and mused on the biggest result in their country’s rugby history.
Georgia’s party had lasted late into the night. The voices of their players and staff were hoarse. The blank look in Assistant Paul Tito’s eyes told his own story. The Lelos celebrated deservedly. For Wales, the autopsy had already begun.
Drinks were still flowing at Georgia’s Cardiff hotel on Sunday morning after beating Wales
A 12-13 home loss to Georgia was the darkest day in recent Welsh rugby history. Wayne Pivac’s side have lost to both Italy and Georgia this year. Pivac’s position is now almost untenable.
He has won just three out of 11 games in 2022. It’s not good enough and Welsh Rugby Union should act decisively, although that’s unlikely. It’s not just the results that Pivac has presided over.
Some of the performances were shambolic. Italy was bad in the Six Nations, but Georgia was even worse. Wales rugby was rudderless and it looked like Pivac’s players had lost faith in him.
WRU chief executive Steve Phillips must now be after a phone number for Scott Robertson, who is also on England’s radar as Eddie Jones’s successor. Wales cannot go on like this.
“We have to stick together as a team,” said Taulupe Faletau with the number 8. “We showed that we can recover from such low points.”
But for Wales, after a bumpy and disappointing defeat, the autopsy has already begun
Honestly, Wales shouldn’t hit such lows. Where they go from here is uncertain. But the way should be clear for Georgia. Their win at Principality Stadium followed a home win over Italy in July.
It was further proof, as if need be, that the Lelos must be given a shot at the Six Nations via a promotion and relegation play-off.
“We are like a dog that goes hunting and then is let off the leash,” Maisashvili said sports mail in Cardiff, the morning after the night before.
‘We are hungry. The players are my buddies, my life. I’ve known some of them since they were six years old, when they couldn’t tie their shoelaces or go to the bathroom. This cohesion is our strength.
“This is how we can beat Tier 1 countries. We can play much better for each other than any other team in the world.”
Wales head coach Wayne Pivac is certainly on the verge of sacking after another terrible performance
Speaking at a Welsh Rugby Writers’ Association event last week, Maisashvili said Georgia’s win over Italy had caused his team to knock on the door of Six Nations recording.
“I think we’ve smashed the door now,” Maisashvili added. “But what will change? I’m tired of talking about it, but we need more games against Tier 1 countries.
“Italy was the first Tier 1 country we beat, Wales the second. I promise you there will be a third one. Every year we start with the Rugby Europe competition – there is a big difference. It’s killing us. What good does that do us? It’s a joke.
“Rugby isn’t just made up of 10 countries. We had eight injured players against Wales and a 19-year-old who was headless. Wales haven’t scored for 40 minutes.’
Tkemaladze added: “We had two games against Tier 1 countries and two wins. That says it all.’
East European side Georgia proved they deserved a shot at promotion to the Six Nations
Georgia’s greatest day has to be the beginning of something, not a false dawn. For Maisashvili it was another moment of joy. In 2021 he contracted Covid-19 in South Africa and was given a one percent chance of survival.
“It means everything to me,” Maisashvili said. “When I woke up from my coma, I said I wanted to train again for my country and my family. The players are my soldiers. This result will give us great confidence. Nothing is unattainable now.’
For Georgia, the only way is up. Meanwhile, Wales falls like a stone. Former internationals Jamie Roberts and Sam Warburton have rightly criticized their latest attempt.
The WRU’s poor governance remains a major problem off the field. Accordingly, the country’s national team is in serious trouble. A defeat against Australia on Saturday could spell the end for Pivac.
“I think there are serious questions that need to be asked on the coaching side,” Roberts told Amazon Prime. “Wales lost to Italy and Georgia this year – that’s inexcusable.”