Namibia Welwitschias convincingly beat Uganda Cranes 48 – 24 in Kampala and with that firmly putting destiny in their own hands come next Saturday’s clash against Kenya in Windhoek. The Cranes seemed to be the better side in the early exchanges, however it was Namibia who scored first via a penalty from flyhalf Cliven Loubser.
Uganda started using their abrasive forwards in pick and go phases with significant gain line success until they scored. Alumna Mugerwa dotted down from one such pick and go and the try was converted by Philip Wokorach to leave the scores at 7 – 3. As was the case in their last game against Zimbabwe, Namibia began to benefit from Uganda’s flooding of the breakdown at the expense of covering the wider channels and the Welwitschias had enough quality to exploit the space outside, scoring three unanswered tries one of which was a beautifully well worked try finished off by scrumhalf Damien Stevens. The half would end with Namibia comfortably leading 22 – 7 and looking like they were going to run away with it. It certainly seemed that way early in the second half when Namibia picked up right where they left off, scoring first to take the scores to 29 – 7. With things looking sombre for the home side, head coach John Duncan started introducing fresh legs onto the park and it paid off when replacement center Eric Mula touched down after nice interplay from the backs to leave the scores at a respectable 29 – 17.
At one point it seemed like the home side would pull off a miracle comeback when Wokorach touched down to trail by 10 points at 34 – 24 with 10 minutes to go, however as has been the case so often in this competition, Namibia’s superior conditioning once again came to the fore. They scored 2 converted tries in the last 7 minutes to wrap up the game comfortably.
The Ugandans will argue that the score was not a true reflection of the game as they genuinely troubled the champions but at the end of the day they came way short and will meet Zimbabwe in their next fixture on 5 August.
Namibia face Kenya in Windhoek in a championship decider, a match that is much anticipated.
Tries : Alumna Mugerwa, Philip Wokorach, Eric Mula
Conversions : Philip Wokorach (3)
Penalty : Philip Wokorach
Tries : Justin Newman (2), Damian Stevens, Johan Tromp, David Philander, Niël van Vuuren, Gino Wilson
Conversions: Cliven Loubser & Helarius Kisting
Penalty : Cliven Loubser