Wanderers Beat United to Go Top

Wanderers went to the top of Group B of the Namibian Rugby Premier League after a narrow 22-20 victory against arch-rivals United on Saturday.

United scored two tries to one, but Wanderers’ wing Haico Prinsloo was the difference as he added 17 points with the boot through five penalties and one conversion to seal their victory.

It was United’s first defeat in the Premier League this season, which sees Wanderers taking over at the top of Group B on 28 points, while United drop down to second position on 27 points.

With the victory, Wanderers also took revenge for their 19-12 first round defeat at the hands of United, although Wanderers had also beaten United 27-6 in their non-league derby in April.

In a tight first half of few chances, Haico Prinsloo and United flanker Winmar Rust traded penalties as the teams went into halftime tied at 6-all.

In the second half, two more Prinsloo penalties put Wanderers 12-6 ahead, before Wanderers lock Nico Esterhuizen scored the first try of the match midway through the second half, after an overlap on the left wing.

Prinsloo added a great conversion from the touchline to put Wanderers 19-6 ahead.

United struck back with a fine try by substitute flanker Naude Neethling who went over after sustained pressure by the forwards and with Rust adding the conversion they narrowed the deficit to 19-13.

Another Prinsloo penalty put Wanderers 22-13 ahead and although United lock Stefan Neustadt scored the final try after a great counterattack by wing Nandivatu Karuoombe, it was not enough, as Wanderers held on for a two-point victory.

With the victory, Wanderers showed that they will be g contenders for this year’s league title.

They have a solid pack of forwards and dominated the line outs where former national lock Nico Esterhuizen once again gave a fine performance.

Amongst the backs, Handre Bezuidenhout, Malcolm Moore and Riaan van Zyl looked sharp in attack, while Prinsloo’s reliable kicking kept them ahead throughout the match.

Despite the loss, United will also take heart from their performance, with several second team players stepping up to fill the gap left by national players like Jaco Engels, Morne Blom and Arthur Bouwer.

They matched Wanderers in the scrums, while Nandivatu Karuoombe, Tuna Amutenya and Herman de Wet gave a solid performances in the back line.

The other Premier League matches which were scheduled for last weekend were postponed to this coming Saturday, 28 June.

Unam will host Group A leaders Western Suburbs at the Unam field, while Dolphins take on Walvis Bay in Swakopmund and Reho Falcons host Polytech in Rehoboth.

Source : The Namibian