Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 30 November 2020

James Botham, grandson of cricket great Ian, tastes success on Wales debut

Wayne Pivac's team labour to victory over Georgia to end losing streak

Wales ended their six-Test losing streak with an 18-0 win over Georgia in their Autumn Nations Cup match at Llanelli.

Coach Wayne Pivac made 13 changes for the visit of Georgia to a wet Parc y Scarlets, with debuts for flanker James Botham, grandson of former England cricketer Ian, scrumhalf Kieran Hardy, centre Johnny Williams and teenage flyhalf Ioan Lloyd.

The host scored two tries through the lively Louis Rees-Zammit on his first Test start and scrum-half Rhys Webb, with Callum Sheedy scoring the rest of the points with the boot.

The laboured manner of the victory will not have eased pressure on Pivac whose side face a far tougher task in the final pool match against unbeaten England next weekend.

"I am very happy with the team who played in pretty poor conditions," he said.

"I was very, very happy with the set piece as it had not gone well in the past couple of games but tonight, while not perfect, it was a step in the right direction."

Rees-Zammit settled Welsh nerves in the first-half as the 19-year-old winger scored his first Test try when he was set up by a lovely pass by Sheedy.

Sheedy, who had out the hosts ahead with a penalty, converted brilliantly from the touchline for 10-0 approaching the half-hour mark.

The Georgians came more into the match in the final 10 minutes of the half but they spurned a chance to reduce the deficit to a converted try.

Fly-half Tedo Abzhandadze sent his penalty kick wide of the posts right on half-time, missing an opportunity to bring up his century of Test points.

Sheedy, making his first Test start, added another penalty to make it 13-0 early in the second-half.

Rees-Zammit showed a flash of brilliance to light up a dour encounter with a great solo run carving open the Georgian defence.

The Welsh rarely threatened the Georgian tryline in the second-half, save when new cap Botham got free down the right wing.

However, the grandson of England cricket legend Ian was brought down yards from scoring a try on his debut.

Updated: November 22, 2020 03:43 PM

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