Namibia: Welwitschias in Narrow Defeat to Georgia U20

NAMIBIA's Welwitschias gave a much better performance before going down 24-20 to Georgia under 20 in Stellenbosch on Wednesday.

The Welwitschias had lost their opening two matches in the friendly four nations tournament by big margins, going down 64-8 to Argentina u20 on 9 April and 50-8 to South Africa u20 four days later, but they put up a much better fight at the Paul Roos Stadium yesterday and could even have won the match with a bit of luck and better goal kicking, as fly half PW Steenkamp missed one penalty and two conversion attempts.

Georgia opened the scoring after 10 minutes when their fly half Sandro Margiani followed up a grubber kick to dot down ahead of Welwitschia scrum half JC Winkler.

Their fullback Davit Gobejishvili added the conversion, and although Steenkamp opened the Welwitschias' account with a penalty, Georgia immediately struck back.

Gobejishvili put over a penalty and then from the kickoff Georgia winger Zurab Kavtaradze raced through to dot down for a converted try to put them 17-3 ahead.

The Welwitschias had several opportunities to score, but poor finishing and costly errors put paid to their chances.

They finally broke through Georgia's defence 15 minutes into the second half when flanker Rohan Kitshoff intercepted a pass to dive over for a converted try under the posts, to reduce the deficit to 17-10.

Georgia's forwards bashed away at Namibia's line, but the defence stood firm until the 70th minute when Cliven Loubser kicked away possession and Georgia made them pay when they started a counterattack that was rounded off by Konstantine Marjanishvili with a converted try.

The Welwitschias finished stronger though, scoring two great tries in the final five minutes, but Steenkamp missed both conversion attempts as Georgia held on for the win.

For the first, hooker Obert Nortje went over from a driving maul, and for the second, winger Janre du Toit turned on the speed to outstrip Georgia's cover defence and dive over for the try.

For the Welwitschias, Nortje, Adriaan Booysen, Rohan Kitshoff and Max Katjijeko shone amongst the forwards, while Du Toit and captain Darryl de la Harpe caught the eye amongst the backs.

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