28 Apr 2019 13:40pm
WINDHOEK, 28 APR (NAMPA) Namibias senior rugby team, the Welwitschias, lost the opening match of the 2019 SuperSport Rugby Challenge to the Golden Lions 40-23 at the Hage Geingob Stadium on Saturday.
The Namibians were the first to strike when Pieter Willem Steenkamp converted a penalty in the eighth minute to put his side 3-0.
But the Lions responded three minutes later with a try by Yanga Hlalu, which was converted by Jeanluc Cilliers to make it 7-3 for the visitors.
The home team held their own for much of the remainder of the first half until Ruan Ludick was sin-binned. The Lions then scored their second try through Hlalu, with Cilliers converting to put his side 14-3.
Namibia scored their second penalty in the 36th minute through Steenkamp to make it 14-6 at half-time.
Upon resumption the Lions scored another try through Chergin Fillies which was not converted to leave the scoreline at 19-6.
Ruben Schoeman added another try for the visitors in the 54th minute and Cilliers converted to take the tally to 26-6 in favour of the visitors.
Janry du Toit then took over the kicking duties for Namibia when he converted a third penalty to make it 26-9, before the visitors scored another try through man of the match Pieter Botha in the 62nd minute.
Cilliers converted and the scoreline read 33-9.
The Lions continued to rack up points as Stean Pienaar joined in the try scoring in the 68th minute, which was converted by Cilliers, making it 40-9 for the visitors.
However, the home team finished stronger as they scored two tries in the 75th and 80th minute through Adriaan Booysen and Jean Claude Winkler respectively.
Du Toit and Steenkamp converted to make the final scoreline 40-23 in favour of the visitors.
Namibias head coach Phil Davies said he was happy with certain aspects of the game displayed by his team.
We are pleased with the way the boys stood up physically against the professionals from the Lions team. We have lots of things to be proud of. Scrumming was good, line-outs were fantastic, and the structure of how we are trying to attack was good, he said.
He noted that his team needs to improve on some technical issues like kicking, when to kick and the way the team kicks.
The Welwitschias play their next match in Pretoria, South Africa against the Blue Bulls on Saturday, 04 May.