Div's Zimbabwe eliminated from RWC 2019

2018-08-06 08:31
Peter de Villiers (Gallo Images)

Johannesburg - Namibia moved closer to a sixth straight Rugby World Cup appearance by scoring eight tries in a bonus-point 58-28 triumph over Zimbabwe in Bulawayo this weekend.

Uganda went on a scoring spree in another qualifier for the 2019 global showpiece in Japan, recovering from conceding an early try to trounce Tunisia 67-12 in Kampala.

Namibia lead the six-nation African qualifying competition with maximum points from four matches and their final fixture is at home to closest rivals Kenya on August 18.

Even if Kenya achieve an expected win over Tunisia in Nairobi this Saturday, they will trail Namibia by at least three points and must win in Windhoek to snatch first place.

Given that Namibia have averaged 73 points in four matches under Welsh coach Phil Davies, it is probably asking too much of Kenya to win in southwestern Africa.

The Kenyans do boast a perfect record from three outings, but failed to secure even one bonus point when overcoming Morocco away and Zimbabwe and Uganda at home.

Namibia have 20 points, Kenya 12, Uganda five, Tunisia four and Zimbabwe and Morocco three each with two matchdays remaining in the single-round mini-league.

The team finishing first goes into Pool B at the World Cup with defending champions New Zealand, South Africa, Italy and the repechage tournament winners.

Marseille hosts the repechage during November with Canada, Germany, Hong Kong and the African runners-up, almost certainly Kenya, competing for the final place in Japan.

The repechage winners also go to Pool B, creating the possibility of three of the five contenders for two quarter-finals places being African, including twice world champions South Africa.

Namibia made a hesitant start in southern Zimbabwe city Bulawayo with Australia-based Connor Pritchard scoring for the hosts after Lesley Klim had put the visitors ahead.

But as the first half progressed the Namibians gradually took control and led 27-7 by half-time with South Africa-based hooker Torsten van Jaarsveld impressive.

Zimbabwe needed to score first in the second half at Hartsfield stadium to have any hope of a comeback, but it was Namibia who stretched their lead instead through Wian Conradie.

Although the outcome was obvious long before the end, Namibia only secured the bonus-point seventh try with four minutes left when Louis van der Westhuizen dived over in the corner.

Flyhalf Cliven Loubser top scored for Namibia with 16 points from five conversions and two penalties while there were eight different try scorers.

In Kampala, Uganda full-back Philip Wokorach starred at Kyadondo Stadium, scoring 37 points from three tries, eight conversions and two penalties.

After conceding the first try in an opening half during which both teams had a forward yellow-carded, Uganda built a 25-5 advantage by half-time thanks to pacy backs.

With the north Africans finding Wokorach too hot to handle, the gap between the side steadily increased until Mohamed Dhif scored a Tunisian try just past the hour.

Results of 2019 Rugby World Cup qualifying matches in Africa this weekend:

At Bulawayo, Zimbabwe

Zimbabwe 28 Namibia 58



Tries: Connor Pritchard, Tafadzwa Chitokwindo, Mathew Mandioma, Shayne Makombe

Conversions: Brandon Mandivenga (3), Lenience Tambwera


Tries: Lesley Klim, Pieter-Jan van Lill, Johan Corne Greyling, Wian Conradie, Torsten van Jaarsveld, Tijuee Uaniye, Louis van der Westhuizen, Johan Tromp

Conversions: Cliven Loubser (5), Pieter Steenkamp. Penalties: Loubser (2)

At Kampala

Uganda 67 Tunisia 12



Tries: Pius Ogena, Michael Okorach, Asuman Mugerwa (2), Philip Wokorach (3), Solomon Okia, Ian Munyani

Conversions: Philip Wokorach (8)

Penalties: Wokorach (2)


Tries: Hossem Khalfi, Mohamed Achref Dhif

Conversion: Khalfi

Standings (played, won, drawn, lost, points scored, points conceded, bonus points, total)

Namibia 4 4 0 0 294 41 4 20

Kenya 3 3 0 0 111 82 0 12

Uganda 3 1 0 2 95 105 1 5

Tunisia 3 1 0 2 30 199 0 4

Zimbabwe 4 0 1 3 101 144 1 3

Morocco 3 0 1 2 54 114 1 3

Points - 4: win, 2: draw, 1: losing by less than eight points or scoring at least three tries more than opponents

Remaining fixtures

August 11

Kenya v Tunisia, Uganda v Morocco

August 18

Uganda v Zimbabwe, Namibia v Kenya, Tunisia v Morocco

Note: team finishing first qualifies for Rugby World Cup in Japan; team finishing second goes into round-robin repechage tournament with Canada, Germany and Hong Kong in Marseille between November 11-23 and winners qualify

Read more on:    namibia  |  zimbabwe  |  peter de villiers  |  rugby


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