March 20, 2010 / 9:20 PM / 10 years ago

Rugby-Georgia thrash Russia to claim European Nations Cup

MOSCOW, March 20 (Reuters) - Georgia crushed Russia 36-8 in the last round of the European Nations Cup to clinch top spot in Division One on Saturday.

The Georgians finished with 27 points ahead of Russia in second on 25 points, with both teams having already qualified for next year’s World Cup.

Georgia join Argentina, England, Scotland and a playoff winner in Pool B for the tournament in New Zealand.

Russia will play Australia, Ireland, Italy and the United States in Pool C.

Saturday’s Georgia-Russia match was played in Trabzon, Turkey, because of tense relations between the two former Soviet republics.

The Georgians beat the Russians 29-21 in their first clash in Mariupol, Ukraine, 12 months ago.

Portugal finished third on 21 points in the six-team group and go into a playoff to earn a ticket to New Zealand.

(Reporting by Gennady Fyodorov; editing by Ken Ferris)

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