29 May 2013 08:30
WINDHOEK, 29 MAY (NAMPA) - The Welwitchias drew many positives from their match against the South African Presidential XV team which visited Namibia over the past weekend.
The national rugby team dubbed the Welwitchias lost by a narrow margin of 26-23 as they showed tenacity and character, while playing on home turf at the Hage Geingob Rugby Stadium in the capital on Saturday.
The Namibia Rugby Union (NRU)?s Chief Executive Officer Sybrand de Beer told Nampa in an interview on Sunday that the team had only two days to practice together before the Saturday match, making it difficult for national coach Danie Vermeulen to have them gel and play as a team.
De Beer said the match was very competitive.
The visiting team was leading with a score of 26-9 during half-time, but the Welwitchias came back strongly during the second half, and lost the match by a mere three points.
The South African Presidential XV did not score a single point during the second half, while Namibia scored 14 points.
?It was the first time for most of the local rugby players who play internationally to play together as a team in preparation for their participation in the Confederation of African Rugby (CAR) Africa Cup Division 1B Championship in Senegal in June this year,? said De Beer.
Namibia will play Senegal on 11 June, while Tunisia and Botswana face each other the following day. The two winners will contest the final on 15 June 2013.
De Beer said the match between the two rugby teams also gave the coach an opportunity to work on different combinations, and to select the best possible team for Senegal.
This was the Welwitchias? last home match for the first half of this year.
The 24-man squad selected for the Senegal match comprises forwards Johnny Redelinghuys, Jaco Swanepoel, Andre Schlechter, Jaco Engels, Callie Swanepoel, Rathony Becker, Morne Blom, Tjiuee Uanivi, Awie Thompson, Munee Tjiueza, Rohan Kitshoff, Tinus du Plessis and Pieter-Jan van Lill (captain).
Backs: Arthur Bouwer, Eniell Buitendag, Theuns Kotze, Justin Nel, Daryl de la Harpe, David Philander, Johan Tromp, Danie Dames, Malcolm Moore, Chrysander Botha and Heinrich Smit.