Junior Lelos claim first ever U20 world rugby championship win

Georgia celebrate scoring one of their three tries in the match against Italy on Monday. Photo from Georgian Rugby/Facebook.
Agenda.ge, 21 Jun 2016 - 12:52, Tbilisi,Georgia

Georgia's Under 20 national rugby team has made history at the World Rugby U20 Championship in England after claiming its first win of their first ever tournament against Italy on Monday.

The junior Lelos fought hard for the 81 minute match and narrowly defeated Italy with a score of 18-17 at the AJ Bell Stadium in Manchester's Salford borough.

The win came after the young Georgian side suffered three losses in the pool stage matches against New Zealand, Wales and Ireland.

After Monday’s match World Rugby noted this historic feat by Georgia in a Tweet shared with its social media followers:

The team also received congratulations from the Prime Minister of Georgia Giorgi Kvirikashvili for their result:

The pool stage was followed by play-off matches and to allow teams with the worst results to avoid being relegated to the U20 Trophy, a competition for second-tier rugby nations.

In Georgia’s semi-final game for 9th place against Italy, the teams were nil-all until Georgia got on the scoreboard first at the 17th minute thanks to a try by Tornike Mataradze.

The majority of the game saw either side fail to score, however the game went in Italy's favour in the 31st minute when the team scored a converted try to lead 5-7.

Georgia led the score for most of the game against the Italians. Photo from Georgian Rugby/Facebook.

But Georgia was not deterred. The junior Lelos returned to the driving seat and landed another try before scoring three points off a penalty, taking the score to 18-10 in Georgia’s favour with 10 minutes left to play.

Staging an attempt at coming back into the game, the Italian players gained seven points off a converted try in the last minute of the game however this was only enough to take the team one point behind Georgia.

Thanks to this win Georgia now boasts its first ever U20 Championship win after defeating their opponents 18-17.

The Georgian side will next play France on Saturday in what will be the 9th place play-off game at the Manchester City Academy Stadium.

Georgia's junior team made history when it debuted at the U20 Championship on June 7. The team was promoted to the contest after winning the World Rugby U20 Trophy last year.

Georgia will host next year's World Rugby U20 Championship.