Scotland v Georgia: Teams
Andy Robinson hopes Scotland's narrow escape against Romania will shock his side into action for their clash with Georgia.
Last Updated: 13/09/11 2:22pm
Andy Robinson hopes Scotland's narrow escape against Romania will shock his side into action ahead of their clash with Georgia on Wednesday.
Georgia are a far trickier prospect than Romania, who almost caused a massive upset for Robinson's men in the opening match of their World Cup campaign.
Scotland were severely stretched during the 34-24 victory and came within eight minutes of being held by the Pool B minnows.
And Robinson knows his side will need to be much better at Invercargill and is hoping that their last, near disastrous, outing will serve as a serious wake-up call for his players.
"We did some good things," he said. "But we simply cannot concede 24 points. We expect a tough match against Georgia, even tougher than Romania."
Georgia's best players are scattered across Europe including Mamuka Gordgodze who was recently voted the best overseas player in French rugby.
And Robinson has made 11 changes to his starting line-up for the clash, with only flanker Kelly Brown and prop Allan Jacobsen retained in the forwards.
Winger Max Evans and Sean Lamont complete the list of four survivors from Scotland's opening match, with the latter switching from inside centre to left wing.
Graeme Morrison has been passed fit while British Lions pair Euan Murray and Nathan Hines also start.
There is also a recall for scrum-half Rory Lawson, who has been handed the captaincy and will partner Dan Parks, returning at fly-half.
"We got a bit of a fright on Saturday against Romania," said Lawson." And if ever we needed a little bit of wake-up call that was it.
"But we came out of that with five points, and now we're looking forward to Georgia."
Assistant coach Gregor Townsend said that Scotland needed to win the battle up front and knows that the set pieces - an area of concern against Romania - will be crucial.
"We know the strength of the Georgian team is predominantly in the pack," he said. "They have moved their game on, have played much more rugby.
"But their front five is probably is one of the most physical challenges we face, no matter who is playing in the World Cup. We have to match that and beat that.
"The backs can only do what they did at the week-end when they have quick balls. It's a 15 man game and it starts with this forward battle."
The Scots also believe that the windy conditions in New Zealand's most southerly city could play an important part in the outcome of the match.
"I had a few kicks with Dan (Parks) out there and as you'd expect the ball is pretty swirling. It's very difficult when the wind is with you," added Lawson.
"But it's not different to a windy day in Edinburgh in the Six Nations.
"Of course, If the wind is like it is today, there is going to be one half we'll be playing with a strong wind behind us.
"We'll look to use that wind to put their backs under pressure and hopefully gain a bit of territory as well."
Scotland: Rory Lamont; Max Evans, Nick De Luca, Graeme Morrison, Sean Lamont; Dan Parks, Rory Lawson (capt); Kelly Brown, Ross Rennie, Ally Strokosch; Jim Hamilton, Nathan Hines; Euan Murray, Scott Lawson, Allan Jacobsen. Replacements: Ross Ford, Geoff Cross, Alasdair Dickinson, Richie Gray, Richie Vernon, Chris Cusiter, Chris Paterson
Georgia: Revaz Gigauri; Irakli Machkhaneli, David Kacharava, Tedo Zibzibadze, Alexander Todua; Merab Kvirikashvili, Irakli Abuseridze (capt); Dimitri Basilaia, Mamuka Gorgodze, Shalva Sutiashvili; Vakhtang Maisuradze, Levan Datunashvili; David Zirakashvili, Jaba Bregvadze, David Khinchagishvili. Replacements: Akvsenti Giorgadze, David Kubriashvili, Giorgi Chkhaidze, Viktor Kolelishvili, Bidzina Samkharadze, Lasha Khmaladze, Malkhaz Urjukashvili