By Hesron Kapanga
WINDHOEK – Namibia’s Rugby Fifteen, the Welwitschias, narrowly lost their third consecutive match by 28 points to 32 against the visiting Griffons in the highly competitive Vodacom Cup at the Hage Geingob Stadium in Windhoek last Friday.
Speaking to members of the media after the game, Welwitschias’ captain Darryl de la Harpe expressed satisfaction with the way the team played saying the squad has improved from their last two encounters in the same competition.
“We will take this defeat into account but I hope the performance we showed today will be displayed again in our next game. Credit should be given to the boys because we are learning very fast from our mistakes and want to do better when we step on the field again,” he said.
The Welwitschias opened the score board as early as the first minute of the game through Russell van Wyk and minutes later, Justin Nel doubled the figure with another try. However, both conversions did not yield any positive results.
Minutes later, the Griffons, hailing from South Africa’s Northern Free State got in the game when Wynand Pienaar ran in their first try but Welwitschias’ flyhalf Shaun Kaizemi converted a penalty for the hosts to make the score 13-7 in favour of the Namibians.
The Griffons ran in one more try aided by two well-taken penalties but the gutsy hosts managed to keep the visitors at bay with Kaizemi sending another penalty neatly through the posts while Nel scored his second try of the match. The teams went into the break with the Welwitschias leading 21-18.
In the second half, the Griffons came out stronger, scoring an early try to wrestle the lead from the hosts and take a 21-25 lead. Nel completed his hat-trick of tries for the Welwitschias but the Griffons bettered with another try of their own, which was dully goaled for 28-32 final score in favour of the visitors.
Despite the narrow defeat, the Welwitschias earned their first two league points of the Vodacom Cup series and were also the proud recipients of a bonus point for scoring four tries and another for losing within seven points while fullback Justin Nel was justifiably named man of the match.
Welwitschias’ next assignment is another home tie against the visiting South African provincial opponents the Bulls, formerly known as the Blue Bulls, in round four of the competition on April 10 at the same venue.
Courtesy of NewEraTagged under Griffons Welwitschias