Last weekend’s 45-43 win of Welwitschia over South Africa’s Falcons at the Hage Geingob Stadium saw Namibia’s boys shining as they currently go through a blast furnace type of transformation into an elite Rugby team.
Commenting on last week’s game, Welwitchias’ coach Lyn Johns gave credit to the boys for a brilliant show of resilience, “This is the right journey for the boys and the plan is right. I understand what it takes to be an elite rugby player, the boys need to keep working hard, you have to give credit to the players, that are how rugby is and that is what we should be doing.”
Gino Wilson’s execution on the turf was spectacular, constantly breaking into the left ﬂank of the menacing Falcons in the very ﬁrst half and racing towards a brilliant try before coming out as man of the match. In the seventh minute the Namibians were already on the lead by 14-5 before being frustrated by Falcons’ left lock Shane Kirkwood who entered dangerous territory behind the home team’s lines before a brilliant conversion from full back Christiaan Rust.
By the 19th minute the Namibians were breathing hard behind the South Africans who were penetrating their defenses with a 17-14 lead. Speaking to reporters, Johns joked through his exuberance from the heart-wrenching match, “Right from the start to the 79th minute we already knew how the game was going to end.” Yet in the ﬁeld, at about the 21st minute, Falcon’s Scrum-half Johannes Pretorius was already tilting the scales against the boys’ favour catapulting the South Africans to a conﬁdent lead by 24-14. Roderique Victor bore hard in the 28th minute behind enemy lines and exploded the stadium into an uproar with his try that saw the boys gaining ground by 21-24 and 7 minutes before half time David Philander ensured a two points lead with the score standing at 26-24.
Victor played out a slick combination with Namibia’s number 13, J.C Greyling which changed the outlook of the match and the boys landed smoothly on a 35-24 lead. Yet 11 minutes after half time, the Falcons were back holding their defenses and breaking through Welwitschia with a massive intensity. The South Africans’ forward became very menacing as the home team girded its loins racing against time and adrenalin was high on both sides with the crowds singing glory for the boys.
By the 80th minute Welwitschia had defended its pride on home turf, closing on a convincing but narrow victory of a 45-43 lead against the Falcons. “The game went quite well, I think the boys played quite well and in the last minute we came out hard,” said Wilson. Coach Johns said, “I really feel pleased by the players, you know we lost a 100 points against the Lions, but we still have along way to go.
Today we showed spirit and attitude and things went our way. We just need to keep working hard.” The home team’s captain Eugene Jantjies expressed his enthusiasm for the show of camaraderie and player combination and congratulated Wilson for coming out as the man of the match.
“I can’t explain the feeling; we have been working so hard. I think we started the game as a team, our defense was tight and we kind of played more with the ball. We told Gino that if he does not step up, it was going to be his last game, we were joking really but he played very well,” mused Jantjies. Also speaking to The Villager after their defeat, Falcons’ tem captain JuanPierre Mostert said the Namibians proved their sweat convincingly albeit he would have to reﬂect on this defeat. “It was a tough game against the Namibian players, we started well yet at the end of the game they had it, that’s the bottom line. We have to revisit the match and assess the game,” said the visitors’ captain.