Welwitschias mount comeback to beat Kenya

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Namibia's senior national rugby team came from 19-24 down at halftime to win 60-24 in the World Rugby/Rugby Africa Stellenbosch Challenge Tournament in South Africa on Sunday.

The Welwitschias scored three first half tries, managing to convert only two on a windy afternoon, while the Simba’s, as the Kenyans are known, scored three converted tries and a penalty to take a narrow lead going into halftime.

The Namibian team then upped the tempo to score seven unanswered tries in the second half as they totally dominated Kenya, who seemed to struggle to contain a rampaging Welwitschias backline.

Winger JC Greyling was the first to touch down for Namibia (5-0) within seven minutes of the start of the match before Jacob Ojee replied for Kenya within four minutes. Jone Kubu converted to leave the scoreline at 7-5.

Returning eight-man Renaldo Bothma scored Namibia’s second try, which was converted by Cliven Loubser to make it 12-07 before Kenyan centre Vincent Onyala then touched down and Kubu converted to make it 12-14.

Onyala then scored his second try of the day and Kubu converted to see Kenya leading by 12-21, but 37-year-old veteran PJ van Lill scored a try Loubser converted to make it 19-21.

Kenya then scored a penalty on the stroke of halftime to take a 19-24 lead into the break.

The Welwitschias came out of the break a rejuvenated side and scored seven tries through Loui van Westhuizen (2), Greyling, Lorenzo Louis, Loubser, Hilarius Kisting, and Wian Condradie, of which three were converted to see Namibia win 60-24.

The Namibians used their lineout strength to bulldoze their way into try-scoring positions, while Kenya tried to run at the Namibians at every given opportunity.

Namibia will now play Zimbabwe in the final on Saturday, after the latter beat Brazil 22-24 in an earlier game at the same venue.

Kenya will face Brazil in the third and fourth place playoff at the same venue, with the games being used as ranking test matches.

This was the 13th test between Kenya and Namibia, with Namibia winning 11 and Kenya winning only two.

Source: The Namibia Press Agency