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Knights Overpower Raiders

Written by Admin Published in Clubs

The second round of the Navachab Cup Regional Rugby competition commenced over the weekend with three matches played throughout Namibia.

In Windhoek, the Khomas Knights overpowered the Hardap Raiders 42-12, in Walvis Bay the Welwitschias beat the Western Chiefs 51-10, and in Grootfontein, the Northern Reds beat the Auas Samurais 62-0.

With the Namibian club rugby competitions now completed, the regional competition once again takes centre stage after the first round was completed in May. According to the Namibia Rugby Union’s CEO Sybrand de Beer, the Navachab Cup will give the national selectors an opportunity to assess the local players ahead of the Windhoek Draught Tri-Nations series against Kenya and Zimbabwe that Namibia will host in November.

The Khomas Knights were full value for their victory, although they took a while to get into gear.

They ran in six tries, with centre Riaan van Wyk scoring one and adding five conversions for a personal tally of 15 points.

The Knights took the lead through a great try by Van Wyk who attacked from a scrum, kicked ahead and collected the ball on the bounce to score unopposed, while he converted his own try.

The Hardap Raiders however hit back through a try by prop Franklin Bertolini and then took a 12-7 lead through a penalty try, converted by Howard Titus, after foul play by the Knights.

The Knights regained the lead through a great try by prop Delano Coetzee, in a sweeping attacking move that involved several backs and forwards, and with Van Wyk adding the conversion they were back in front at 14-12.

Just before halftime the Knights’ eighthman Jane Karuaihe burst through the defence from a 5m penalty to dot down and with Van Wyk once again converting, they took a 21-12 lead at the break.

The Knights continued to attack after the break and flanker Willem van Zyl soon went over for a converted try after another fine buildup involving several forwards.

The Raiders did their best to get back into the match but could not breach the Knights’ defence, while they went further ahead through a great individual try by winger Henry Kandjou, who picked up a loose ball in the centre and jinxed his way past several defenders to dot down. With Van Wyk adding the conversion they were well ahead at 35-12.

In the final minute of the match the Knights’ replacement scrumhalf JP Robinson went over for a try, converted by eighthman Jane Karuaihe to give the Knights a comprehensive 42-12 victory.

In Walvis Bay, the Welwitschias beat the Western Chiefs 51-10.

According to the Welwitschias’ team manager William Steenkamp, their team included about six national Under 20 players and it took a while for the Welwitschias to gel as a unit, while the windy conditions also made conditions difficult.

The Welwitschias were however too strong for the Chiefs, with flanker Mune Tjiueza having a great match while centre Johan Tromp and national under 20 hooker Louis van der Westhuizen also put in fine performances.

Justin Nel scored two tries and three conversions for a personal tally of 16 points, while Tuna Amutenya and Donovan Kandji each scored two tries and PJ van Lill, Johan Tromp and Jacques Nel one try each.

The Welwitschias are preparing for next month’s Tri-Nations competition and Steenkamp said he was satisfied with their performance.

“We are not looking for big scores at this stage, we are more interested in working on our structures, getting our calls and defensive lines right, and I think we are on track,” he said.

In Grootfontein, the Northern Reds were far too strong for the Auas Samurais, running out 62-0 victors.

The Northern Reds now lead Pool B of the competition on 12 points, followed by the Karas Mustangs on eight points, although they have a match in hand. The Auas Samurais and the Western Chiefs must still open their account.

The Khomas Knights lead Pool A on 12 points, followed by the Hardap Raiders on four and the Western Chiefs on zero points.

By Helge Schutz

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