Namibia: Zambian Women Overpower Namibia

15 November 2021

Namibia had a tough introduction to international women's rugby when their national women's team lost 75-5 to Zambia on Saturday.

The bigger and stronger Zambians ran Namibia off their feet, scoring some superb tries in an attacking display of running rugby.

Zambia, who led 36-5 at the half time break, ran in a total of 13 tries.

They pounded away at Namibia's line from the start and opened their account after five minutes when centre Jane Malisa went over after incessant pressure.

Namibia initially defended well, but two tries in two minutes by prop Suzie Rennie and centre Dorothy Kasonka suddenly put Zambia 19-0 ahead midway through the first half.

With Zambia spreading the ball wide and attacking from the wings, left wing Lillian Mukosha and loose forward Queen Nachinga dotted down, but Namibia came back fighting and finally opened their account when flyhalf Alicia Gertze burst over after their forwards had set up several phases of attacks.

The try was wildly celebrated by the Namibians but they were soon on the defensive again as Zambian flanker Elizabeth Chibomba dotted down to put them 36-5 ahead at the half time break.

Zambia's dominance continued in the second half as Kasonka and Rennie both scored their second tries, while prop Natasha Musonda also scored two to stretch their lead to 58-5 midway through the second half.

Namibia defended courageously, but three more tries in the final 10 minutes by substitute forward Loveness Nambela, scrum half Juliet Mwamba and Malisa's second try sealed a comprehensive 75-5 victory for the Zambians.

Despite their extensive defeat the Namibians showed great character and courage in defence, while captain and flanker Fulchen Bock and flyhalf Alicia Gertze caught the eye with some fine attacks.

After the match, Namibia coach Christelle Kotze said her team showed a lot of courage.

"It was definitely not an easy day at the office, however, the girls showed courage and they had some good carries - they showed that we have talent in this country.

"We didn't have enough time to prepare, but we are ok and now we can see where Namibian rugby is, what still needs to be done and what we have to work on to come back even stronger," she added.

Kotze said they will learn from the defeat.

"The girls showed a lot of courage, they really fought and showed that we are not going to back down. If you look at Zambia's tries, most of them came from playing the ball out wide, so maybe our defence didn't pull through today as we wanted, but I think in the future thats definitely something we can work out," she said.

Captain Bock said her team mates were a bit nervous.

"It's not the first time that Im playing, but for the rest of the team it was their first time and they were quite nervous and under a lot of pressure. But we will work on the mistakes that we made today and come back stronger."

Kotze, meanwhile, said they were looking forward to a new African competition that will start in 2022.

"Next year Rugby Africa will launch a new format of women's rugby in Africa, it will be similar to the Gold Cup that the men are competing in, so today's game was just to assess the teams. Moving forward, we will be divided into pools and then we'll take it from there," she said.

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