Namibia scored a brilliant try in the dying seconds of the game to beat Kenya Simbas 35-28 in an entertaining Mzansi Challenge match played in Windhoek on Saturday.
The Simbas were looking to continue their winning momentum in the Currie Cup/Mzansi Challenge after beating the Border Bulldogs in their previous match. They were up against the Namibian squad, consisting only of local-based players, and were determined to come out on top.
The hosts got off to a quick start, amassing 21 points in the opening 15 minutes. Namibia controlled the possession early on and, after winning a penalty and going for a line-out, they lost the ball but managed to regain it.
The ball changed hands a few times before Gershwin Mouton’s powerful carry saw him score a try, which was converted by Danco Burger to give Namibia a 7-0 lead.
Kenya came close to scoring, but lost possession and Namibia launched a counter-attack, entering Kenya’s 22. The ball quickly changed hands, beating Kenya’s rushing defence, and JC Greyling scored a try in the left corner, which was converted for a 14-0 lead.
In the 14th minute, PJ Waters’ beautiful pass evaded Kenya’s defence, and supporting Greyling scored his second try under the posts for an easily converted try, extending the lead to 21-0.
Kenya fought back, scoring a try through Walter Okoth off the maul, which was converted by Dukisa to make it 21-7. Namibia’s defence denied Alfred Orege a chance to score a try at the stroke of halftime by bundling him out.
In the second half, Namibia scored another seven-pointer before Kenya responded with Okoth’s second try, benefiting from a pass from Samuel Asati. Dukisa converted to reduce the deficit to 28-14.
The Simbas rallied and put up a strong surge as the clock hit the 50th minute mark, with the likes of Teddy Akala and Beldad Ogeta coming off the bench. They put pressure on Namibia but failed to come away with any points after a collapsed scrum.
Namibia’s exit kick failed to find touch, and the ball passed to Ogeta, who raced all the way into Namibia’s five. Akala rose with the ball off the ruck and scored a try that Dukisa converted to narrow the gap even further.
The Simbas continued to knock at Namibia door and after a maul drive, Ogeta gained some metres into Namibias five and Elkeans Musonye scored off the ruck, before Dukisa’s conversion tied the scores at 28-28.
Kenya thought they were going to leave Namibia with more points but Namibia produced a beautiful display, with beautifully passage of the ball allowing them to score and convert in the 81st minute to win the match.
Namibia Windhoek Draught Welwitschias vs Kenya Simbas:
1.Andre Rademeyer 2. Lodewickus Jacobs 3 Nelius Theron 4 Mahepisa Tjeriko 5 Johan Luttig 6 Pieter Diergaardt 7 Max Katjijeko 8 Prince Gaoseb (C) 9 Aj Kearns 10 Danco Burger (VC) 11 JC Greyling 12 PJ Waters 13 Hillian Beukes 14 Lloyd Jacobs 15 Gershwin Mouton
Pieter Jansen,Herschell van Wyk, Jason Benade, Le Beau Du Preez, Le Beau Du Preez, Jacques Theron, Henrique Olivier, Nico Maartens
1.Ephraim Oduor 2. Griffin Musila 3. Hillary Mwanjilwa 4. Brian Juma 5. Hillary Odhiambo 6. George Nyambua (C) 7. Brian Ndirangu 8. Jeanson Misoga 9. Samuel Asati (VC) 10. Brian Wahinya 11. Alfred Orege 12. Walter Okoth 13. Peter Kilonzo 14. Joel lnzuga 15. Ntabeni DukisaImpact Players: 16. Teddy Akala 17. Thomas Okidia 18. Wilhite Mususi 19. Elvis Olukusi 20. Hibrahim Ayoo 21. Elkeans Musonye 22. Barry Young 23. Beldad Ogeta
Tech Bench Jerome Paarwater – Head Coach Jimmy Mnene – Team Manager Stephen Mankone – Physiotherapist