Windhoek — Namibia's Rugby XV, the Welwitschias, got their Windhoek Lager Tri-Nations Rugby Tournament campaign off to a good start. The PJ van Lill inspired team narrowly defeated a stubborn Zimbabwean side by 37 points to 33 in a hard fought encounter at the Hage Geingob Stadium in Windhoek on Saturday.
The hosts firmly stood their ground right from the outset and played some intriguing rugby as they went on to give the Sables of Zimbabwe an inhospitable treat, taking a narrow 16-15 lead going into the changeover.
The 2nd half produced the same pattern with Namibia coming in with some classic attacks that left the Zimbabweans chasing shadows for the better part of the match, but the Sables also held their own with some crucial onslaughts that kept the Welwitschias at bay towards the conclusion of the 2nd half.
The Welwitschias played well as a unit and showed composure and organisation in all departments, as they courageously held on to clinch a well deserved victory.
Namibia Rugby Union (NRU) CEO Sybrand de Beer hailed his troops for a job well done, saying the Welwitschias played according to their game plan and was confident they would do well in the next match against Spain on Saturday.
De Beer further expressed satisfaction with the manner in which the young players blended in with the seniors, adding they will now prepare very hard for their upcoming game.
"Yes, we are very much aware of the dangers that Spain may pose, but we are also determined on the other hand and ready to give our best. This tourney is very crucial and whatever result we get in the end will determine our way forward. But for now, we just have to focus on the fitness of the players, which I think on Saturday was one of those departments that needs much attention ahead of our second game," said de Beer.
On Wednesday, Zimbabwe take to the field for a confrontation with Spain and the Southern African outfit will be expected to dust themselves off with an unlikely win against the Spaniards, if they are to stay in the hunt.
Spain, on the other hand, will be aiming to make their presence felt and anything can be expected when the two lock horns, at the Hage Geingob Stadium.