Defending African champions Namibia stamped their authority over a distinctly average Senegal in their Rugby Africa Gold Cup test at the Hage Geingob Stadium in Windhoek on Saturday afternoon.
The home side ran in fourteen tries, ten of which were converted, to take their points tally to a massive 148 points from their opening two matches. Eighthman Johan Kitshoff scored his second hatrick in successive matches, to take his tally to seven tries in this year’s edition. Wing Leslie Klim weighed in with two tries and there was one try apiece from AJ de Klerk, Justin Newman, JG Greyling, Thomasso Forbes, Johann Tromp, Theuns Kotze and Darryl de la Harpe.
The West Africans came into this tie having had two strong performances against seasoned campaigners Zimbabwe and Uganda in Dakar and will be disappointed with their inability to adjust to the quick recycle at the point of collision.
Namibia, unlike Senegal’s previous opponents, were able to regain possession from all three setpieces. As a result, they starved the large Senegalese forward pack of ball and constantly shifted the point of attack with their forwards spread out in four pods across the field.
The extra weight seemed to tell on the Gold Cup newboys and it quickly became apparent that they were out of their depth. They were not able to apply defensive pressure on the Namibians as their defensive line was sluggish off the mark and this left individual defenders exposed.
Namibia’s dominance was so marked, one could be forgiven for forgetting that Louis van der Westhuizen had been shown a straight red card by referee Eben Seconds for a headbutt on a Senegalese player as he scored his try in the 17th minute. Rookie flyhalf Jantjies also looked comfortable as he stitched play together between the pods of forwards and kept tying up the Senegalese defenders in the centre of the pitch, leaving space for dangerous runners like Klim and Kitshoff out wide.
Namibia will look to extend their lead at the top of the standings when they host past champions, Zimbabwe in Windhoek on Saturday the 15th of July (ko 1700 cat).
Text credit : Kyros Sport
Photo credit : Magic Moments Photography