02 Sep 2019 17:21pm
WINDHOEK, 01 SEP (NAMPA) Namibia came from behind to defeat Southern Kings 28-22 in a thrilling rugby match played at the Hage Geingob Stadium here on Saturday.
Having trailed until the 69th minute, Namibia hit top gear in the last 20 minutes to score three tries and condemn the Kings to defeat in a friendly match played as part of the preparations for the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan.
The Kings were the first to settle down as they surged ahead through a penalty by flyhalf Pretorius Bader on the second minute to make it 3-0 for the visitors.
In the 10th minute, Pieter Willem Steenkamp missed his penalty attempt and the Kings took advantage by scoring a try two minutes later through vice-captain Howard Mnisi.
Bader failed to convert the resultant kick leaving the scoreline at 8-0 in favour of the visitors.
Namibia then scored their opening try a minute later through hooker Torsten van Jaarsveld and Steenkamp converted to make it 07-08.
Replacement utility Jackson John scored two quick tries in the 28th and 31st minute which were converted by Bader to make it 07-22 for the South African visitors at halftime.
The match then became a stop start affair as both teams failed to assert themselves, but it was Namibia who showed great fitness, conditioning and character when they upped their tempo to score a try in the 69th minute by Eugene Jantjies which was converted to make it 14-22.
Four minutes later, Namibia added another try by Chad Plato and converted by Cliven Loubser, leaving the scoreline reading 21-22.
Plato then completed his double when he scored a try as the buzzer went off to end the match, which Loubser also converted for Namibia for the final score of 28-22 in favour of the home team.
Speaking after the match, head coach Phil Davies said it was a good game of high intensity.
The comeback was great as it shows the level of fitness of the team. We gave people opportunities, to see how the boys have developed in the last four years. To win like this is fantastic, he said.
Captain Johan Deysel said the team started slow but the second half was much-improved.
We have been working hard in the last three months. We have not played enough games but we are seeing the results and we are looking forward to next weekend. We promise to give our best in Japan and we are going to go for our first win, he said.
Namibia play the Kings next week on Saturday in Walvis Bay in the final preparatory match before Jones names his 31-man 2019 Rugby World Cup squad.