Namibia qualifies for the Rugby World Cup 2019 after winning the Africa Gold Cup

Namibia qualifies for the Rugby World Cup 2019 after winning the Africa Gold Cup

On Saturday 18 August 2018, the Namibia senior rugby team the Welwitschias played against Kenya during the 2018 Rugby Africa Gold Cup, which is also a qualifier for the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan.

An APO press release said this was the fifth win for the Welwitschias and saw Namibia qualify for the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan. Namibia opened the scoring through a penalty by Clive Loubser. Kenya then scored the first try of the match through right winger William Ambaka which was converted by Darwin Mukidza, to take a 7-3 lead inside 13minutes.

Namibia hit back through Chrysander Botha’s try which Loubser converted for 17-7 scoreline.

Namibia regained the lead through man of the match and double try scorer Louis Van Der Westhuizen.

Kenya were offered an opportunity to reduce the arrears through a penalty but Ambaka missed.

Loubser then added a try and a conversion to take the scoreline to 22-7 at halftime.

The Welwitschias resumed the second half stronger with  Van Der Westhuizen adding his second try of the day within a minute of resumption with Loubser adding more points from the boot.

The Welwitschias who have won the Rugby Africa Gold Cup for four times in a row will be looking to qualify for the 2019 World Cup finals slated for Japan.

With Namibia dominating the game, Kenya made a raft of changes which added urgency to their game with Ambaka scoring his second try for Kenya.

Mukidza converted the try to take the scoreline to 32-14.

The home side hit back immediately through Tjeriko Mahepisa and Loubser converted to give Namibia a 39-14 lead.

Darrly De la Harpe added his name to the try scorer and Loubser converted to take the scoreline to 46-14.

Kenya kept pushing and captain Davis Chenge scored a try which was converted by Mukidza.

Kenya then scored and converted two more tries while the home team added one more converted try by Botha to leave the final scoreline at 53-28 in favour of Namibia.

With the victory Namibia retained the Africa Gold Cup for the fifth time and qualified for the world cup.

Kenya will have another chance to claim a spot at the world cup when they play the repechage qualifies in November.

Speaking to the media after the match Namibia’s Coach Phil Davies said he was pleased with the ambitions of his side.

“We played well today, the team stuck to the game plan. This means a lot as we have been building a team since the last world cup. We have an average age of 24 years now compared to 31 at the previous tournament. We have depth now,” he explained.

Captain Johan Deysel said Namibia had played well by utilizing all the chances that came their way.

Ian Snook the Kenyan coach said his team played their hearts out but lost the match due to lack ‘intelligence’.

Abdelaziz Bougja, chairman of World Rugby’s African association, Rugby Africa (www.RugbyAfrique.com), said: “Namibia has been impressive all along this competition and today the strongest team has won. Congratulations and I have no doubt that they will make us proud at the RWC 2019 in Japan. Well done as well to Kenya who kept going and played really well. I am very proud of our African teams and the progress they have made over recent years.”

Nicolas Pompigne-Mognard, Founder and CEO of APO Group (www.APO-opa.com), the main Official Partner of Rugby Africa, said: “As the main Official Partner of Rugby Africa, we will put all our efforts in ensuring the world knows about Namibia’s participation in the World Cup. We will soon unveil a communication plan aimed at promoting African rugby during the Rugby World Cup 2019.”

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