Cape Town - Namibia suffered their third
straight defeat of their Northern Hemisphere tour when there
were beaten 29-20 by Portugal at the University of Lisbon in the Portugese
capital on Saturday.
Namibia held a 13-12 lead at the break.
took the lead five minutes into the match when flyhalf Theuns Kotze slotted a
penalty from just inside his opponents half after referee Frederico Anselme
from Argentina, penalised Portugal for slowing down the ball.
dominated the set pieces and their first try of the match came from quality
Flyhalf Nuno Penha e Costa put his centre Josè Lima onto
space, the inside back exploited the lack of communication between Kotzè and
Johan Deysel and sliced through the gap to score in the 11th minute. Tiago
Girão converted for a well deserved 7-3 lead.
After Portugal went offside
defending a rolling maul, Kotzè slotted a second penalty to cut the deficit to
a single point. Namibia started to find their feet and was the dominant side in
the next 15 minutes, from a lineout they set up a number of phases and with
the defence sucked in, Kotzè cut through to send hooker Torsten van Jaarsveld
away for his first try in the Namibian shirt.
Kotzè converted to open up a sic point lead for the visitors with 15 minutes remaining in the first half.
Just before half time Portugal
applied a lot of pressure on the Namibian scrum in their own 22, the result a
poor clearance which gave Portugal an attacking lineout. The hosts set up a
well executed drive from the lineout, allowing lock Fernando Almeida to crash
over for his side’s second try of the evening. Girão failed to convert and the
teams went into the break with the visitors leading 13-12.
Portugal started the second half
very well but were still fortunate to take the lead after referee Anselmi
missed two knock-ons and a forward pass in the build-up to Portugal’s third try
scored by the exciting running fullback Pedro Aviula.
Girão was on target with
the conversion, the hosts in the lead 19-13 just four minutes into the second
half. From this moment on Portugal never looked like losing the match despite
being reduced to 14 men when Manuel Vilela Pereira was yellow carded for a
dangerous tackle. Namibia failed to take advantage of the situation as Girão
slotted a penalty to extend the lead to 22-13.
Playing catch up rugby Namibia made
many unforced errors, from a turnover the ball was kicked through,
replacement Shawn Kaizemi completely misjudged the bounce of the ball gifting
fullback Aviula his second try of the match. Girão made no mistake with the
conversion and leading 29-13 with eight minutes remaining, Portugal had wrapped up
victory over a side World Cup-bound and a place higher on world rugby’s
rankings. Johan Tromp scored a late consolation try, but by then the damage had
Although they had lost their two
previous encounters on tour this was by far Namibia’s worst performance of the
three week visit to Wales, France and Portugal respectively.
They struggled in
the lineouts and scrums, and when they managed to win possession failed to
take the ball through more than 3 or 4 phases. A disappointed captain Rohan
Kitshoff admitted that his team was devastated by the defeat.
“We let ourselves
down tonight, we did not stick to our structures and we couldn’t hold on to the
ball for longer than 3 to 4 phases,” said Kitshoff.
Kitshoff said that this was a
wake-up call to the Namibian side with the Rugby World Cup just 10 months
”We have a lot of work to do, we can’t afford to play like this at the
World Cup and expect to do well. We must go back to the drawing board, take a
long and serious look at ourselves before we start preparing for our opening
match against New Zealand on September 24 next year. “
Stand-in coach Henry Kemp echoed the
“We were not good enough tonight and will really have to work hard
when we return to Namibia. Although there were some positive aspects from the
tour we at least should have beaten Portugal who will not be at the World Cup
and we are very disappointed with ourselves.”
Tries: Josè Lima,
Fernando Almeida, Pedro Aviula (2)
Conversions: Tiago Girão (3)
Torsten van Jaarsveld, Johan Tromp
Conversions: Theuns Kotzè (2)
Penalties: Kotzè (2)