NAMIBIA'S Sevens rugby team reached the semifinals of the Bowl competition at the Middelburg International Sevens tournament where they lost 34-14 to the Orange Free State. In total, Namibia played five matches, wining two matches and losing three.
In their group matches, Namibia started off with a 33-24 victory against the South African Defence Force, but then suffered two narrow defeats, going down 22-21 to the Northern Rhinos and 24-19 to a combined Leopards/Potchefstroom University team.
In the knockout stages, they competed in the Bowl competition where they won their quarterfinal match 33-17 against the Bulls Barbarians, before losing to Free State in the semifinals.
Namibia's top try scorers were PJ van Lill and Justin Nel who each scored three tries.
Namibia's team manager, Wessel Kotze said the tournament served as good preparation for the African World Cup qualifying tournament which takes place in Morocco next weekend.
"It was the first time that this team had competed together and it was a very good experience for the players. They will just have to compete in international tournaments to gain more experience," he said.
The tournament was eventually won by South Africa who beat defending world champions Wales in the Cup final.
Zimbabwe, who will also compete in Morocco, did well to reach the semifinals of the Cup competition, where they lost to Wales, and according to Kotze they will be one of the favourites in Morocco.
"Zimbabwe have a very good team and they did very well in Middelburg. They will be one of the favourites in Morocco," he said.
Eight African countries will compete in Morocco with the top two teams qualifying for next year's World Sevens Tournament.
The participating teams are Namibia, Morocco, Zimbabwe, Tunisia, Zambia, Uganda, the Ivory Coast and Madagascar.