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Namibia defeat Kenya to qualify for 2019 World Cup
By Eric Njiru | Sun 19 Aug, 2018 20:45

Kenya's hopes of qualifying directly for 2019 Rugby World Cup ended on Saturday as they lost 53-28 to Namibia.

Namibia qualifies for the World Cup as Africa 1 to join New Zealand, South Africa, Italy and repechage winner in pool B.

It is however not yet over for Kenya as they can qualify through a global repechage set for November in France where they will meet Canada, Germany and Hong Kong. 

Namibia ran in seven tries, a penalty try, a penalty and four conversions against Kenya's four converted tries. Willy Ambaka bagged a double with Malcolm Onsando and substitute Mohamed Omollo adding third and fourth tries.

The hosts led 22-7 at the interval and returned to add the rest of the points in the second half and confirm their place at Japan 2019.

Kenya went into the match needing to beat Namibia to head to Japan with both teams having beaten Zimbabwe, Tunisia, Morocco and Uganda on their way to the season finale. 

Namibia opened the scoring through a penalty by Clive Loubser.

Kenya then scored the first try of the match through right winger William Ambaka which was converted by Darwin Mukidza, to take a 7-3 lead inside 13minutes.

Namibia hit back through Chrysander Botha’s try which Loubser converted for 17-7 scoreline.

Namibia regained the lead through man of the match and double try scorer Louis Van Der Westhuizen.

Kenya were offered an opportunity to reduce the arrears through a penalty but Ambaka missed.

Loubser then added a try and a conversion to take the scoreline to 22-7 at halftime.

The Welwitschias resumed the second half stronger with  Van Der Westhuizen adding his second try of the day within a minute of resumption with Loubser adding more points from the boot.

The Welwitschias who have won the Rugby Africa Gold Cup for four times in a row will be looking to qualify for the 2019 World Cup finals slated for Japan.

With Namibia dominating the game, Kenya made a raft of changes which added urgency to their game with Ambaka scoring his second try for Kenya.

Mukidza converted the try to take the scoreline to 32-14.

The home side hit back immediately through Tjeriko Mahepisa and Loubser converted to give Namibia a 39-14 lead.

Darrly De la Harpe added his name to the try scorer and Loubser converted to take the scoreline to 46-14.

Kenya then scored and converted two more tries  through subs Malcolm Onsando and Mohammed Omolo. The home team added one more converted try by Botha to leave the final scoreline at 53-28 in favour of Namibia.

With the victory Namibia retained the Africa Gold Cup for the fifth time and qualified for the world cup.

Kenya will have another chance to claim a spot at the world cup when they play the repechage qualifies in November.

Speaking to the media after the match Namibia’s Coach Phil Davies said he was pleased with the ambitions of his side.

“We played well today, the team stuck to the game plan. This means a lot as we have been building a team since the last world cup. We have an average age of 24 years now compared to 31 at the previous tournament. We have depth now,” he explained.

Captain Johan Deysel said Namibia had played well by utilizing all the chances that came their way.

Additional reporting by APO Group

Eric Njiru
Email: ericnjiru41@gmail.com Twitter: @EricNjiiru
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