The weekend of the 4th February sees the return of Didi10, Georgia’s top tier rugby competition, after its annual winter break. The 12th round of fixtures sees some fascinating match-ups, with all teams looking to make a good start to this season’s final stretch.
Prior to the winter break Lelo Saracens headed the pack, closely followed by Locomotive, Batumi, Aia Kutaisi and Jiki Tblisi, all within 4 points of each other. This five-horse race promises an exciting run-up to the play-offs, with every game a must win for each team.
At the other end of the table Armazi Tblisi and Qochebi Bolnisi are in dire need of wins if they are to avoid the relegation and relegation play-off places, whilst Acadamia Tblisi, Armia Tblisi and Bagrat Kutaisi will be looking to secure the sixth and final championship play-off spot.
Bagrat Kutaisi host Armazi Tblisi in an 8th against 9th bottom-of-the-table clash. Both of these sides have lost their last three games and so will be looking to turn their seasons around with a comprehensive victory. This clash is likely to be a close one, with Bagrat Kutaisi victorious by only one point in the last fixture between the two.
Bolnisi Kochibi, who sit bottom of the table and have lost their last seven games, seriously need to start the remainder of the season with a win against Batumi if they are going to avoid relegation. Batumi on the other hand will be looking to keep pace with the top of the table, and having won their last four games, any positive result for Bolnisi Kochebi would be seen as a great upset.
Aia Kutaisi make the trip to Jiki Tblisi in an interesting clash between two members of the chasing pack, both of whom need a win to maintain their title challenge. The last match up between these two resulted in a convincing win for Aia, however this game could prove to be a try-fest with both top try scorers for the season so far, Giorgi Abrimadze (Aia) and Nikoloz Bitsadze (Jiki), facing off against each other.
In a Tblisi derby top of the table Lelo welcome Armia in what could be a close encounter – the last game between these teams was decided by only two points in the home side’s favour. Lelo come into the game with mixed form, winning three of the last seven, and Armia need a good run to the end of the season to ensure they don’t get caught up in the relegation battle.
Last, but certainly not least, Academia face Locomotive away from home. Both come into this fixture with three wins in the last five, and whilst Locomotive will be looking to keep pace with league leaders Lelo, Academia need a win to catch up with the group of title contenders and to ensure they don’t get caught by 7th place Armia.
On pre-break form four of these fixtures look to be open contests, however winter could certainly throw a spanner in the works with regards to fitness, sharpness and conditions, leaving all of these games in Didi10’s Round 12 as exciting and unpredictable encounters.
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Crédits : Didi10rugby