Zimbabwe Under-19 (5) 27
Namibia Under-19 (20) 27
(Namibia Under-19 won 32-34 after extra time)
ZIMBABWE’S Under-19 rugby team came agonizingly close to ending Namibia’s dominance against local teams,but their
brave fight was not enough as they suffered a heartbreaking extra time loss at St Georges College on Saturday.
With the match having ended 27-27 in regulation time, a fourth try of the match by impressive fullback Shingi Katsvere in the first period of extra time looked to have given the Young Sables their first win over their rivals since 2011.
However, with a place at next year’s Junior World Rugby Trophy just a few moments away Namibia, who had played over 40 minutes of the match, broke the hearts of local rugby fans with a converted try by their skipper Cameron Langenhoven.
Even after conceding the late try which gave Namibia a 32-34 lead, the Young Sables could still have won the match with virtually the last kick of the game after being awarded a penalty just outside the visitors’ 22 yard box.
However, with a lot of pressure on his shoulders and a tricky angle to negotiate, Young Sables fullback Joshua Gando sent his kick just wide off the posts to end the locals’ hopes of an upset.The Young Sables, bidding to become the first team to beat the Namibians this year, pushed their opponents all the way in what was their best performance of the competition.
Ultimately, though, they were left to reflect on what might have been, conceding a late try with the last move of the game in regulation time having led the match 27-20 with less than a minute left on the clock.
But the Young Sables should be credited for the way they refused to give up after Namibia had raced to a 15-0 lead through
tries from centre Janry Du Toit and fullback Brendon Delinge.
Flyhalf Henrique Oliver had opened Namibia’s account with a long range penalty before converting Du Toit’s try.
Katsvere, however, kept Zimbabwe in the game with two tries late in the first half as the home side made use of the numerical advantage for the second after Cameron MCnab had been shown a red card for dangerous play at the breakdown.
After going to the break 20-10 down, the Young Sables — inspired by some tactical changes to the backline — scored a converted try soon after the break through Brian Matoramusha.
Katsvere completed his hatrick with a converted try which gave Zimbabwe the lead for the first time in the match before Gando scored a late penalty to give the home side a seven point cushion.
However, the Namibians refused to give in as they managed to send the match into extra time through Oliver.
Zimbabwe — Tries: Shingirai Katsvere (4), Brian Matoramusha (1), Conversions: Joshua Gando (2). Penalty: Joshua Gando(1).
Namibia — Tries: Janry Du Toit (1), Brendon Delinge (1), Henrique
Oliver (2), Cameron Langenhoven (1), Henrique Oliver: Conversions: (4) Penalties: Henrique Oliver (1)