Welwistchias survive by the edge of KotzeÔÇÖs boot
The Namibian National Rugby team (The Welwistchias) had to rely on the kicking boot of Fly half, Theuns Kotze to sneak a two point win from South Africa’s DHL Western Province with two minutes remaining over the weekend at a fully packed Hage Geingob Stadium.
Welwistchias defeated the DHL Western Province by 30-28 score line in a game that went to the wire. Kotze contributed 18 points to the team’s total, completing an over 90% conversion rate on penalties while two tries and a conversion were scored by the national team.
The Welwistchias started the match on a rather jittery note conceding some school boy handling and technical mistakes. They conceded forward passes and unnecessary penalties at times although Western Province could not take full advantage of the earlier mistakes made by the national team.
The national team is using the matches against top South African sides as preparation for the forthcoming gruelling rugby World Cup qualifiers in Madagascar pitting long-time rivals Kenya, Zimbabwe and the host later this month.
While Kotze proved his prowess kicking even outside the 50 metre line the forward pack of the Welwistchias struggled to scrum throughout the match. The eight pack forward however had a god day in office on their racks.
Eighth man Pieter-Jan Van Vill had to deal with a collapsing scrum twice in the first half failing to clean the ball often. On the other hand DHL Western Province had their scrumming right on the mark and also dominated often when they engaged a mall.
The challenges for the Welwistchias was in bring the back line into play as more often than not scrumhalf Arthur Christo struggled to supply the back line with clean passes.
Perhaps his kicking prowess took a strain on him as Kotze finished the match limping although his injury looking like nothing serious.
Surprisingly Kotze was scooped of the coveted N$5000 man of the match by teammate, Tinus Du Plessis despite being the difference between defeat and victory for the team by the end of the match.
Western Province on the other side who started with a try inside the first five minutes and completed the first half ahead had to play catch up in the second half as the Welwistchias cemented their grip on the match much to the delight of a jubilant crowd at the popular stadium.
Namibia will play another preparatory match against the mighty Blue Bulls before concluding their preparation for a fifth bite at the World Cup Extravaganza to be hosted in England next year.