Without a doubt, Georgia are one of the least likely teams to be holding up the Webb Ellis Cup at the end of the 2015 Rugby World Cup.
Coming in at humble number 16 in the IRB world rankings, their cup chances aren’t looking too good.
However, this writer believes that the Georgians can, and will succeed.
Channelling the power of the underdog, the former Soviets have a great chance at victory, and here are the three things you need to know about them.
1. The Power of the Unknown
Most people have never heard Georgia, and why should they of.
They share a name with a U.S. State but none of the fame. From memory Ray Charles wasn’t writing about the country when he wrote “Georgia on Mind.”
Georgia is tiny, insignificant and even disappeared as a country altogether until 1991. I myself didn’t know it existed as a country until 2008 after they got in trouble with their former compatriots on the Russian border.
As a rugby playing nation, Georgia has alway done incredibly poorly, scraping a fantastic 2 wins out of the three World cups they have been a part of.
Georgia has zero star players and zero expectation for them to achieve success.
This lack of attention will be the key to their success.
With names like Khmaladze and Asieshvili, match officials are never going to be able to keep track of who is meant to be on the pitch.
Suddenly Georgia have the brilliant opportunity to provide unlimited interchanges at every break in play without anyone noticing. Would you notice if Giorgi Aptsiauri suddenly swapped shirts with the medic, who also happens to be 6’2” and in rugby boots? I sure wouldn’t.
Being a former soviet territory the Georgians know a thing or two about playing dirty.
We all grew up watching James Bond films featuring Soviets sneaking poison into buffet trays and wine glasses, and who’s to say it couldn’t happen at the All Black camp the night before their hit out.
Never underestimate the power of a dodgy curry.
3. Financial Gains
With betting odds sitting at 2500:1 for a World Cup victory, a cheeky tenner at the TAB will pay off your student loan. Why not?!
Rather than deal in hypothetical, sabotage-related victories, we could go so far as to predict two toughly fought wins against Namibia and Tonga. A few valiant efforts here would do the little country proud and put them on the map. Both figuratively and literally. Hey, Russia might even invite them back in…