29 June 2018

Namibia Face Morocco in Casablanca

NAMIBIA's national rugby team has started the Africa Gold Cup and their World Cup qualifying campaign in great style, but they will face their toughest proposition to date when they take on Morocco in Casablanca on Saturday.

Namibia recorded two runaway victories in their first two matches - a 55-6 win against Uganda and their biggest ever test victory of 118-0 against Tunisia to jump to the top of the log on 10 points.

Kenya, who opened their account with a 28-24 victory against Morocco in Casablanca last Saturday, are second on four points, while Morocco are third on three points.

Despite losing to Kenya, Morocco showed what they are capable of when they held Zimbabwe to a 23-23 draw in Harare on 16 June.

Their forwards gave a fine performance, impressing with their rolling mauls and set pieces, while they have a speedy backline, with wing Quadri Karim, looking dangerous against Zimbabwe.

Morocco's good work in Harare was, however, undone when they squandered a 10-7 halftime lead, before going down to Kenya at home last weekend.

Morocco went 17-7 ahead early in the second half, but Kenya fought back and tries by Tony Onyango and Moses Omusala put them 21-17 ahead.

A second Onyango try put them 28-17 ahead, and although Morocco scored a late try, Kenya held on for the win.

They will be determined to get their campaign back on track with a win tomorrow, but after Namibia's great start, it will be a daunting task.

So far, Namibia has completely outclassed their opponents, and last Saturday's win against Tunisia was embarrassingly one-sided.

Their forwards laid the platform with a dominant performance, with players like Tjiuee Uanivi, Ruan Ludick, Max Katjijeko, Wian Conradie and Rohan Kitshoff all impressing.

Amongst the backs, players like Lesley Klim, Chrysander Botha, JC Greyling, Johan Deysel and Johann Tromp impressed with their power and speed and ran holes through the Tunisian defence. If their forwards can secure enough possession tomorrow, the Moroccan defence can expect another relentless onslaught.

Namibia's team was not available at the time of going to press.

In another Gold Cup match tomorrow, Kenya host Zimbabwe in Nairobi.

After their winning start Kenya should start the match as favourites, but Zimbabwe, and their coach Peter de Villiers, will be determined to get their first win of the campaign.

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