11 August 2017

Namibia: Top Schools Battle It Out in Momentum Semis

The premier schools rugby competition in Namibia, the Momentum Boards Trophy reaches the semifinal stage this weekend when the remaining four teams in the various age groups battle it out at the Hage Geingob Stadium.

In the showcase u19 Super League competition, the defending champions Windhoek High School will once again be the team to beat after they completed their league campaign unbeaten on 63 points.

They finished well ahead of the rest of the pack which was involved in a tough battle for the remaining three semifinal places.

Windhoek Gymnasium, on 48 points, Windhoek Afrikaanse Privaat Skool (46) and Walvis Bay (45) eventually qualified for the semis, with Tsumeb Gymnasium - a losing finalist two years ago - missing the cut in fifth place on 42 points.

Another team with a proud history in the Momentum Boards Trophy, Elnatan, who won the trophy in 2006, also didn't make the cut, finishing seventh overall on 27 points.

The first semifinal, between WAP and Windhoek Gymnasium at 21h00 on Friday night, could go either way. Besides pipping WAP by only two points on the league log, Windhoek Gymnasium also had to pull out all the stops before beating WAP 31-28 in their league encounter.

Gymnasium, however, have a better overall record in the competition, having won the title in 2014 and 2015, although they failed to reach the final last year, after losing to WHS in the semifinals. WAP, instead, reached their first ever final last year, but were comprehensively beaten by WHS, 42-27.

This year Gymnasium had six representatives in the Namibian Craven Week team, including their reliable place kicker Denzo Bruwer and captain and flanker Roaldo Rittman.

WAP only had two in lock Frans Oosthuizen and centre Gerswin Mouton, although the latter is also a reliable place kicker and match winner in his own right.

In the second semi at 17h40 on Saturday, WHS will start as the favourites against Walvis Bay Private School.

Walvis Bay gave a good account of themselves in their league encounter against WHS, going down 68-50 in a high scoring match, but they have been inconsistent in the league where they also lost to WAP and Windhoek Gymnasium.

Furthermore, WHS had nine players in the Craven Week team including their points machine, fullback Delron Brandt, scrum half Jacques Theron and prop Chris Swanepoel, while their captain eighthman Odrich Mouton already captained Namibia at last year's Craven Week.

The bottom four teams in the u19 competition will battle it out in the u19 A semifinals, with Elnatan taking on Windhoek Gymnasium II at 19h40 on Friday night, while Tsumeb Gymnasium I take on WHS II at 16h20 on Saturday.

The u15 A semifinals will see Elnatan taking on Windhoek Gymnasium at 18h40 on Friday, while Walvis Bay take on WHS at 11h20 on Saturday.

The u14 A semifinals are between Windhoek Gymnasium and WHS at 14h00 on Friday, and Walvis Bay and WAP at 08h00 on Saturday.

There will also be semifinals in the u14 B, u15 B, u19 D, u19 C and u19 B age group categories.


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