Namibia: Wanderers Go Top After Unam Slip Up

WANDERERS went to the top of the Rugby Premier League for the first time this season, while Unam suffered their first defeat in some thrilling encounters played on Saturday.

In Rehoboth, Wanderers emerged victorious after a hard fought 33-31 victory against Rehoboth, while Unam went down 41-33 in a high scoring encounter at Trustco United Park on Friday night.

In another close encounter, Western Suburbs were pushed all the way before beating Kudus 31-28 at Suburbs Park on Saturday afternoon.

The match between Wanderers and Rehoboth was a humdinger, with Rehoboth staging a great fightback after trailing 19-3 midway through the first half.

After they reduced the deficit to 19-10 at half time, Wanderers again pulled away to go 26-10 ahead, but two tries by fly half Henrique Olivier saw Rehoboth coming right back and trailing by only two points at 26-24.

In the closing stages both teams added a try and Olivier even had a chance to win the match but missed a late penalty as Wanderers held on for a narrow victory.

For Wanderers, wing Nandivatu Karuuombe scored two tries, while flankers Christo van der Merwe and Peter Diergaardt, and hooker Stefan Hattingh scored one each. Fly half Brandon Groenewaldt converted four of the tries for a personal tally of eight points.

For Rehoboth, fly half Olivier had a great game, scoring 21 points which consisted of two tries, four conversions and a penalty, while they scored two more tries through prop Kevin Cloete and centre Hillian Beukes.

The result sees Wanderers moving to the top of the log on 20 points from four matches, while Unam move down to second on 19 points after their defeat to United.

In a thrilling encounter of action-packed rugby, the lead changed hands several times, while United defended superbly to withstand Unam's all-out attacks.

After trailing 17-9, Unam struck back to take a 19-17 lead at half time, but two tries early in the second half put United 31-19 ahead.

Once again Unam came back to reduce the deficit to 33-31, but United's defence stood firm and they finished stronger as a try by eighthman Shaun van Rooi and a conversion and penalty by Winmar Rust gave them a hard fought victory.

Besides Van Rooi, United's other try scorers were centre Michael Hummel, fly half Hanrico van Zyl, scrum half Herman Stroh and lock Winmar Rust, who also added five conversions and two penalties for a personal tally of 21 points.

For Unam, fullback Lorenzo Louis once again had a great game, scoring a total of 28 points.

He scored two tries through a great counterattack and a quick tap penalty that caught United's defence off guard, and added three conversions and four penalties.

Unam's only other try was scored by their impressive flanker Berry Gande, who showed an impressive turn of speed to run more than 50 metres to dot down.

The victory puts United in third place on 16 points, just three behind Unam.

Western Suburbs meanwhile moved into fourth position on 10 points after scoring a narrow 31-28 victory against Kudus on Saturday.

Suburbs scored four tries through hooker Roderique Victor, wings Russel van Wyk and Nikin Cloete and a penalty try, while fullback Justin Nel added two penalties and replacement back Ricardo Swartz one penalty.

For Kudus, prop Sidney Halape scored two tries and fullback Aurelio Plato one, while Plato added three penalties and a conversion and replacement back Ulriato Lawrence one conversion.

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