Win over Kenya seals Africa Gold Cup triumph for Namibia – and a place in Pool B at Japan 2019
Namibia qualify for 2019 Rugby World Cup
Namibia secured their place at the 2019 World Cup with a comfortable 53-28 win over Kenya in Windhoek.
The match was a straight shootout for the Africa Gold Cup title, which would determine World Cup qualification.
The side coached by former Wales lock Phil Davies scored seven tries to ensure they topped the table with a perfect 25 points from five matches, picking up try bonuses in all of their matches.
Namibia will play in Pool B alongside New Zealand, South Africa, Italy and the repechage winner at Japan 2019. They have played in every Rugby World Cup since 1999 but have yet to win a game at the tournament, losing all 19 of their matches.
Kenya go into November’s repechage tournament in Marseille, where Canada, Germany and Hong Kong will also be competing for the final place at next year’s World Cup.
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Namibia were the stronger side in Windhoek in terms of physicality and game management, dominating at the scrum and putting pressure on Kenya with their kicking game and quick recycles at the breakdown.
The Kenyans tried to employ their speedy backs but found it hard to break down the Namibia defence, which had conceded just 41 points in their four previous Gold Cup matches.
The Kenyans took a 7-3 lead in the 14th minute through a try from wing William Ambaka, but Namibia hit back with three tries of their own before half-time. Chrysander Botha, Louis van der Westhuizen and Cliven Loubser, who also kicked seven points in the first half, all crossed.
The hosts extended their lead further in the second half, van der Westhuizen crossing early on and Loubser kicking a penalty.
Tries came thick and fast in the last half an hour. For Kenya, Ambaka collected a kick through to break for his second try while substitutes Malcolm Onsando – set up by Darwin Mukidza – and Mohammed Omollo also touched down.
Namibia’s other scores came from Mahepisa Tjeriko, a penalty try and Botha as they booked their place at next year’s World Cup.
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