13 April 2018

Namibia: Chasing Pack Aim to Haul Unam in

THE chasing pack will have a chance to narrow the gap on log leaders Unam, when round five of the Namibian Club Rugby Premier League takes place on Saturday.

Unam, who lead the log on 19 points from four matches, have already streaked into a nine-point lead over Wanderers, but with Unam inactive on Saturday, Wanderers will have a chance to cut the deficit when they host a resurgent Kudus.

Last weekend Wanderers recorded a comfortable 55-17 victory away to Reho Falcon, scoring nine tries in the process. Scrum half Dian van Solms and hooker Stefan Hattingh scored two tries each and fullback David Philander, centres Jamie Joseph and Stiaan van der Merwe, flanker Dirk de Meyer and lock Ruan Ludik one try each.

Wanderers have a powerful pack with the likes of Welwitchias players Gert Lotter, Christo McNish, Ruan Ludik, Denzil van Wyk and Rohan Kitshoff in their midst, while national players David Philander and Johann Tromp bring a lot of experience to their backline.

They also have some exciting upcoming players in the backline like Dian van Solms, Stiaan van der Merwe and Jamie Joseph and on their home turf will start as the favourites against Kudus.

Wanderers coach Vince Dreyer was, however, not sure which of their Welwitschias players would be available following the Welwitschias' 49-14 warm-up win against a Barbarians team on Wednesday night.

Kudus have shown that they mean business this season and after three matches are well in the mix on the log.

Their only defeat so far came against Unam, but last weekend they beat a strong United side 25-21 at home to move up to fourth place on eight points.

In the past they have shown to be good travellers and three years ago, in fact, shocked Wanderers with a 40-26 victory at their Pionierspark ground.

On that occasion, Aurelio Plato had a personal tally of 25 points, including a late try, and with him back at fullback along with other up and coming players like fly half Ivo Croza, wing Carlton Stevens, prop Craig Swartz, lock Lizardo Vos and flanker Ngumee Ngaiko, they will provide a tough challenge.

Kudus will, however, be without their experienced centre Chrysander Botha who played for the Welwitschias against the Barbarians on Wednesday night.

In other matches tomorrow, third-placed United face a tough away match against Rehoboth, while Western Suburbs host bottom of the log Reho Falcon.

United will want to bounce back from their defeat to Kudus last weekend, but Rehoboth, on their home turf, will provide stiff opposition.

Despite trailing in second last position on the log, Rehoboth last weekend showed great resilience before losing 47-6 to Unam.

After trailing 26-0 at halftime, they made a strong comeback, reducing the gap to 26-6, before conceding three late tries. They have an experienced halfback pair in Howard Titus and Ascher Coetzee as well as some exciting backline players like Paulus Hangula, Xavier van Wyk and Chase Diergaardt, but they will have to match United's powerful pack up front if they hope to win the match.

Western Suburbs will start as favourites when they host bottom-of-the-log Reho Falcon at Suburbs Park. Suburbs have already beaten Wanderers this season, while suffering a narrow defeat to United, and will be out to collect maximum bonus points against a struggling Reho Falcon who have already conceded 174 points at an average of 44 points per match.

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