by Ciarán Duffy
Two games in the penultimate round of the Rugby Africa Gold Cup. This week saw the destination of the trophy decided, as well as an upset with relegation permutations.
Zimbabwe 23 – 31 Tunisia
Tunisia got their first win of this years competition to keep their survival hopes alive. Tunisia went ahead early on but Zimbabwe would get the games first try as it looked like the match was going to begin to march towards the expected conclusion. However, Tunisia would respond immediately to lead 10 – 16. Tunisia went down to 14 but the resulting Zimbabwean lineout was overthrown. The Sables would only be able to add a penalty at the stroke of halftime as Tunisia led 13 – 16.
Tunisia would get a penalty of their own after the break before Zimbabwe got over the line, Kingsley Lang diving over as Tunisia ran out of numbers out wide. Once again Tunisia would respond immediately, winger Jabri scored the first of his tries. He’d touch down once again a few minutes later, bouncing off defenders on his way to the line to give Tunisia an 18 – 31 lead. Zimbabwe got one more try to stay in the game but with 5 minutes to go, needing two scores, they were turned over and that was that.
In truth Zimbabwe made too many basic errors and didn’t put enough phases together going forward. Tunisia now have a three point advantage over Senegal heading into next weekends game which will decide which team gets relegated.
The title decider was unfortunately one-sided as Namibia got their 5th bonus point win of this years tournament.
David Philander got the first of seven Namibian tries, with fullback Chrysander Botha getting the second shortly after. Cliven Loubser converted both tries, the second one right from the touchline. Kenya had their moments of attacking pressure in the first half, but failed to score as Namibia led 14 – 0 at the break.
Loubser and JC Greyling would ensure Namibia got their 5th bonus point of the tournament as Namibia went 26 – 0 up. The Simbas would finally get a score when flanker Moses Amusala drove over the line. Namibia responded as Philander got his 2nd try, slipping through the defence to squash any hopes of a comeback before the hour-mark. Casper Viviers and Lesley Klim touched down for the Welwitschias as they retained their title in emphatic fashion.
Next weeks Fixtures (kickoff times in Irish time):
Uganda v Zimbabwe (14:00)
Tunisia v Senegal (17:00)
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