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Mikautadze: Georgia need to be more confident against Wales

Mikautadze: Georgia need to be more confident against Wales

Mikautadze: Georgia need to be more confident against Wales

Kote Mikautadze believes Georgia must forget who they are playing and focus on being more confident with the ball in hand ahead of their visit to Llanelli to face Wales.

The Lelos were on the end of a 40-0 defeat to reigning Guinness Six Nations champions England in their opening game of the inaugural Autumn Nations Cup at the weekend.

But they have an opportunity to bounce straight back this weekend against Wales, with Wayne Pivac’s side going into the contest following their sixth consecutive defeat in a row.

And lock Mikautadze, who has recovered from an eight-month heel injury, has urged his teammates be more confident when they take to the field at Parc y Scarlets.

“In spite of the recent losses, Wales are a very strong team and their motivation to win against us will be tenfold exactly because they had not won a game for such a long time,” says Mikautadze.

“If we want to have any progress, we have to forget who we play against and concentrate on what we are going to do. We need to analyse the games already played and work on our weak spots.

“It is important to be more confident, more critical and more accurate.”

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Mikautadze has represented Georgia at the last two Rugby World Cups and he has described the new Autumns Nations Cup tournament as just as important for the Lelos.

“This tournament is crucial for the development of Georgian rugby,” Mikautadze continued. “Practically, this is the second Rugby World Cup we are playing in two years.

“We have to get the most out of this chance and work on all the components; which is most important, we have to do the right analysis after each game in order to be able to develop in a right way.

“The team contains numerous new players who lack both high-level game experience and general playing exposure and teamwork because of the pandemics.”

And while the end result against England was disappointing for Georgia, Mikautadze took plenty of encouragement from the improvements they made from their warm-up defeat to Scotland.

“In spite of England vs Georgia final score, the team was noticeably better in defence,” he said.

“We made 100 more tackles and only 10 of them were missed. There also were improvements in terms of discipline; we got fewer penalties and had more ball control than in the last game.

“It is important that we learn to get the most of our chances when playing against such opposition. At Rugby Europe Championship, if we fail to realise this or that specific opportunity it does not mean much because we know we will get another chance.

“But with Tier 1 teams the situation is different. Here we have to be more careful with the ball. When playing against England and other teams of this level, we have to try to spend less time on defence, because the opponents hardly miss any of our mistakes.”

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