During the second day of the Rugby Africa Cup Pool A on July 7, Namibia beat Madagascar 52-10 at the Stadium of the Excellence Alassane Ouattara’s High School in Grand Bassam, Cote d’Ivoire.
The victory revived Namibia after their loss against Côte d’Ivoire in the first round of matches.
From the start of play, the determined Namibians imposed their rhythm to dominate the Malagasy in the first half.
Riaan Van Zyl, Johan Tromp and Helarius Kisting gave Namibia breathing room by taking the score to 25-0. The Namibians scored three tries including two conversions and two penalties in the first half.
The second half was much like the first, with a clear domination by the Namibians. Pieter Jean Van and his teammates widened the gap further with four more tries.
The Malagasy consoled themselves with a converted try and a penalty in a second half in which Namibia grabbed an offensive bonus point.
The Malagasy will have another chance to give it a go on July 11 against Côte d’Ivoire, which will also be the final day for the Rugby Africa Cup Pool A.
Meanwhile, Senegal made it two wins out of two to finish top of Pool B with a 20-5 victory over Zambia in match also played on July 7.
The result saw Senegal qualify for the 2022 Rugby Africa Cup, which will also act as the Rugby World Cup 2023 qualifying competition for Africa.
The game started on a frantic note, each team probing furiously, and it was Zambia who were rewarded first for their efforts with a try after Melvin Banda’s elusive running found big Philip Kamanga, who barged over for the game’s opening try.
Fullback Laston Mukosa missed the ensuing conversion. Those were as many points Zambia would manage the entire game as Senegal thwarted every subsequent attack.
Senegal’s Ndiaye Mamadou would then put on a dominant performance, shaking off a nervy start that saw him miss an early penalty in front of the posts to score 15 of Senegal’s 20 points. Ndiaye slotted in two penalties, two conversions, and a try.
Ndiaye would also play a part in Sakho Oumsane’s try.
After the game, Senegal captain Samba Mohamed said, “It was tough for us especially due to the little time we had to recover but we went out there and had more of the ball than Zambia and we are happy for the win.
“We knew playing Zambia was going to be difficult especially with the recovery time we had. But we knew what was important was winning the group and we fought hard for that.”
Losing captain Ali Bhika lauded his team’s strong showing in the second half.
“Credit to Senegal, they played well in this game but in the second half we came out a bit stronger, we managed to hold them, and they did not score any points,” says Bhika.
“We would like to build on that momentum, speed it a little bit and hopefully it can work against Kenya,” said Bhika.
Zambia stand-in coach Mathews Kabeya added: “Senegal won the game in the first half, credit to them, but in the second half we picked up the momentum.”
Zambia has a chance to redeem themselves when they take on Kenya in the last match of the Rugby Africa Cup on July 11 at Nyayo National Stadium, with Kabeya confident they will match the East Africans in every aspect.
“It is a do or die match against Kenya, we have played them very many times so I believe we will be able to match them at the end of the day,” said Kabeya. – APO Group