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Welwitchias survive Zimbabwean scare

Sun, 11 November 2012 21:34
by John Tuerijama

A brilliant kicking day for Namibia Rugby fly-half, Theun Kotze stole the show for the team in the 37-33 win over Zimbabwe in the ongoing Tri-Nations Tournament that also involves Spain.
Zimbabwe trailed behind throughout the game held at Hage Geingob Rugby Stadium in Windhoek, Sunday.
Despite the brilliant boot of Kotze both teams kept starving their backline of balls with the match played by the forwards while the two teams relied heavily on penalties – Namibia had four penalties and two conversions while Zimbabwe had two penalties all which were both converted by the fly-half Tichafara Makwanya who was later substituted for Linience Tambwera.
The Welwitchais forward pack dominated the Zimbabweans in all aspects including mauls, racks, scrums where they cleaned the ball to perfection while the Zimbabweans kept messing up  on their moves conceding unnecessary penalties.
The match started with both teams battling to contain nerves and constantly making school-boy blunders in their forward pack but later saw the Welwitschias dominate the two halves with the Zimbabweans playing catch up.
The Welwitschias scored 20 points from the try-line while Kotze maintained an almost 90% kicking record pushing the Zimbabweans to the edges in the beginning of both halves.
However, the Namibians constantly suffered from inexperience and conceded points towards the end of both halves and almost sent jitters to the jubilant crowd at the last minute when Zimbabwe missed a penalty kick that could have sealed a surprise draw.
Commenting on the team’s performance Namibia coach, Danie Vermeulen said he was by and large impressed with the team’s performance adding that, “We consider ourselves lucky to have come out victorious because the Zimbabweans kept coming back. The lapses in concentration could have cost us as you know this is a young squad. We would also want to thank the Zimbabweans for the good spirit in which the game was played in.”
The Zimbabwean coach, Cyprian Mandenga said the Zimbabweans conceded unnecessary handling mistakes which could have been avoided adding that, “We are going to work on out-strengths on the forthcoming match with Spain. Namibia capitalised on those and they won the game.”
According to Mandege Zimbabwe’s school boy errors with the passing conceded way too many penalties and gave away easy points.
Although the Welwitchais started slowly taking their first points of the match through a penalty inside Zimbabwe’s 22 metre line they also consolidated their position by taking advantage of the poor Zimbabwe scrum and constant knock-ons.
At one point pressure mounted for the Zimbabweans resulting in a reckless tackle by Biselele Tshamala which earned a yellow card in an otherwise very competitive and nail biting match.
The next game of the round robin tournament will be played on Wednesday between Zimbabwe and Spain while the high flying Welwitchais will keep to maintain their momentum on Saturday against the highly fancied Spaniards.