Africa Rugby Gold Cup 2018
Namibia 55-06 Uganda
Hage Geingob Windhoek, Namibia
On Saturday, The Uganda Rugby Cranes faced of with African giants Namibia in the first game of the 2018 Rugby African Gold Cup, which also acts as a qualifier for the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan.
The Cranes struggled to find gather any momentum throughout the game and ended up losing by a stunning 55-6 to the four time past winners of the Cup, Namibia at the Hage Geingob stadium in Windhoek.
It only took seven minutes for the Namibian team to put points on the scoreboard after brilliant play from the right wing to the left found right flanker Janco Venter who scored their opening try and Cliven Loubser made no mistake from the spot.
Namibia struck once again in the 12th minute through Johann Greyling who was too strong and fast for the Ugandan’s struggling defance. Venter converted from the spot.
Uganda had a chance of bringing themselves back into the game when the referee awarded them a penalty in the 16th minute but a poor taken penalty by their scrum half Aaron Ofoyrwoth kept the score line the same.
In the 18th minute the Welwitschias scored their third try of the match from a lineout after a brilliant driving maun saw their hooker Orbet Nortje add to their score once more with Loubser scoring the conversion to make the score 21-0.
Before the half time break Namibia’s team captain Johan Deysel score one more try for his team in the 27th minute but Loubser miss from the spot.
Uganda were once more given a penalty in the 34th minutes and James Ijongat made no mistake as he added his team’s first points on the scoreboard.
The half time score was 26-3 in favour of the home team.
In the second half it was still a one-way affair as the Namibians ran in five more tries compared to their opponents who only scored a penalty.
Namibia’s tries in the second half were scored by hooker, Louis van der Westhuizen who scored two , left flanker Wian Conradie scored one, Greyling scored his second try of the match, while full back Chrysander Botha who made his 50th cap on the day also added to the score board with his try in the 66th minute of the match.
Ijongat scored his second penalty for the Rubgy Cranes while Ofoyrwoth missed a penalty once more in the second half.
Out of the five tries that were scored by Namibia in the second half only two were converted. Loubser converted once while substitute Pieter Steenkamp converted the other.
Uganda looked out of sorts for the entire 80 minutes as the defence struggled to cope with the athleticism of their Namibian counter-parts.
The kicking also left a lot to be desired but with Philip Wakorach coming back in the next fixture, it will be a huge boost for John Duncan’s men.
Wokorach was rested for the game on Saturday after allegedly accumulated fatigue during the just concluded Dubai sevens.
The Cranes will next travel to Kenya on 7th-July before hosting Tunisia at the start of August in their first home game of the competition.
The last two fixtures will also be at home and will see Uganda host Morocco and Zimbabwe on 11th and 18th of August respectively.
The top side in the Gold cup advances to the 2019 Rugby World cup while the runners up advances to a repechage tournament for a final chance to attain qualification.