WANDERERS and Rehoboth Rugby Club got off to winning starts as the Namibian club rugby season got underway on Saturday.
At the Hage Geingob Stadium in Windhoek, Wanderers beat Western Suburbs 24-12, while Rehoboth got an important away win, beating Kudus 25-13 at the coast.
The Wanderers-Suburbs encounter was interspersed by typical early season errors, with lots of handling errors and communication breakdowns on both sides.
The two sides weighed up evenly for most of the match, but Suburbs conceded far too many penalties, while Wanderers' forwards eventually got the upper hand.
Wanderers did the early attacking as they bashed away at Suburbs' try line, but tight defence and some handling errors by Wanderers' backs, kept them at bay.
Suburbs weathered the onslaught and took the lead against the run of play, after a quick counterattack by their backline and a great dummy by centre Ricardo Swartz to go over for a try, converted by Justin Nel.
Wanderers opened their account with a penalty by scrum half Jacques Theron, and after camping on Suburbs' try line, another scoring opportunity went astray after a dropped pass by their backs.
Wanderers' pressure, however, told and they took the lead just before the half time break, when centre Bernadus Hugo went over after fine supporting play by their loose forwards. Fly half Renier Benade added a great conversion from the touchline to put them 10-7 ahead at the break.
After Ricardo Swartz missed two long range penalty attempts, Suburbs wing Morgan Esterhuizen went over in the corner, and although Justin Nel's conversion was short, they were back in the lead at 12-10.
Wanderers, however, were soon camping on Suburbs' try line again and took control of the match with two tries in quick succession midway through the second half.
Their substitute scrum half Jan Wessel Meyer went over from the base of a scrum, and three minutes later flanker Driaan Vorster crashed over after a forward maul. With Theron adding both conversions, they went 24-12 ahead.
In the closing stages a penalty by Theron bounced off the cross bar, but it did not matter as Wanderers held on for a comfortable win.
Rehoboth, meanwhile, got off to a great start with a 25-13 away victory against Kudus at the coast, after leading 15-3 at half time.
Rehoboth scored four tries through wing Brandon Dentlinger, scrum half Ascher Coetzee, eighthman Cameron McNab and lock Dylan Farmer, while fly half Henrique Olivier added a conversion, and fullback Xavier van Wyk a penalty.
For Kudus, prop Lorenco Calaca scored a try, while fly half Aurelio Plato added a conversion and two penalties.
The match between United and Reho Falcon was postponed after three Falcons players tested positive for Covid 19.
Falcons' other players went into self isolation and they requested a postponement of the match, which was granted by the NRU.