Namibian Welwitschias defeated the Zimbabwe Sables 58-28 during the 2018 Rugby Africa Gold Cup at the Hartsfield Stadium on Saturday.
Zimbabwe’s interweaving backline anchored by flyhalf, Brandon Mandivenga proved to be the offensive system the team needed.
Undeterred, two and a half minutes into the game, Namibia fuelled the rivalry by logging the first try by Lesley Klim and a successful conversion from Cliven Loubser to lead 7-0.
Not to be undermined by their opponents, Zimbabwe fast-tracked their way to Namibia’s five to, score off a maul with a try placed by Matthew McNab and an equally successful conversion by Mandivenga in the eleventh minute upping the scoreline to 7-7.
Despite making technical changes which made an impact to Zimbabwe’s scoring system, the team’s defense began to give way to Namibia as PJ van Lill and Johann Greyling ran past to add more points cementing the team’s lead which, in turn, were converted by Loubser.
By half-time, Namibia had won two successful penalties whilst conceding a single penalty to Zimbabwe leaving the score 24-7.
In the second half, Namibia’s Wian Conradie was the first to score with later contributions from Torsten van Jaarsveld, Tjiuee Uaniv and Johan van der Westhuizen.
Johan Tromp managed to put in two tries past the Zimbabweans who were left playing a weak defensive as they failed to maintain their ball possession to facilitate an offensive.
Namibia played rugby in its most basic form, completing their passes and maximizing on Zimbabwe’s mistakes.
Ball at hand, Zimbabwe presented some good runs from Mandivenga and David Makanda however, support in the field of play proved to be in short supply as they lost possession to Namibia.
Zimbabwe’s fusion of the 2018 Rugby World Cup Sevens Cheetahs into the backline paid off as both Tafadzwa Chitokwindo and Shayne Makombe delivered tries for the home crowds.
In their next fixture against Uganda on the 18th of August, Zimbabwe will be fighting relegation whilst Namibia squares off with Kenya for the Rugby Africa Gold Cup at Hage Geingob Stadium in Windhoek.
The Africa Gold Cup tourney is a qualifier to the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan.