Welwitschias bounce back to beat Zimbabwean Sables …keeps hope alive
By Otniel Hembapu
WINDHOEK - After losing 29-22 at the hands of a revamped Kenyan side in their opening match of the Confederation of African Rugby (CAR) 2015 World Cup qualifiers, Namibia’s rugby XV, the Welwitschias, yesterday finally dusted themselves off with a 24-20 victory over Zimbabwe to put their campaign back on track.
But despite the close win over the Zimbabwean Sables, Namibia Rugby Union (NRU) Chief Executive Officer, Sybrand de Beer, is still a concerned man and has called on the Welwitschias to put more fire on their somewhat slow burning campaign that saw them drop valuable points in the opening clash at the African qualifiers, currently underway in Antananarivo, Madagascar.
As it stands, Namibia must beat Madagascar in their upcoming fixture to be played Sunday and should at least defeat the Islanders with no less than 70 points to boost their chances of finishing runner-ups, but also depending on the outcome between Kenya and Zimbabwe.
According to De Beer, if Namibia is to finish 2nd overall, than Kenya must beat Zimbabwe with at least a low score line and then Namibia has to make sure they beat host Madagascar with a maximum score line in order to finish 2nd based on point difference.
De Beer, however, expressed confidence going into Sunday’s encounter against Madagascar, saying if the Namibian brigade remain focused and stick to their game plan they will get the much needed 70 points and hopefully proceed to the next phase.
Namibia made minor changes to their first round line-up, this time including loose-head Johannes Redelinghuys, who missed the opening game, at the expense of Jaco Engels who dropped on the bench yesterday. Another player who also started yesterday was Tjueza Munee in the place of lock-forward Tinus du Plessis.
Namibia starting line-up: Johannes Redelinghuys, Rathony Becker, Andre Schlechter, Munee Tjiueza, Morne Bloom, Rohan Kitshoff, Renaldo Bothma, Peter-Jan van Lill (capt), Arthur Bower, Theuns Kotze, Henrich Smit, Johan Deysel, Darryl de la Harpe, David Philander, Chrysander Botha.