Welwitschias snap losing streak

Namibia's Welwitschias shocked the Valke 45-43, while there were also victories for Western Province, Griquas, Free State, Boland and the Pumas in round seven of the Provincial Rugby Challenge.

The Welwitschias have been the punching bags of many a team, but there was much joy in Windhoek on Saturday when they held on for a thrilling win, despite having to play with 14 men for 50 minutes.

Fullback David Philander received a second yellow card on the 30-minute mark, but the Welwitschias showed great resolve to go into the break 42-24 up.

The Valke dominated the second half and although they ultimately outscored the hosts seven tries to six, the accurate kicking boot of Theuns Kotzé proved the difference in the end. Kotzé nailed six conversions and a penalty for a perfect record off the tee, while the Valke’s Christian Rust only succeeded with four conversion attempts.

In the other North Section match, the Pumas beat the Blue Bulls 35-29 in Nelspruit to complete the double over their Pretoria opponents.

In the Central Section, the Free State XV beat the Griffons 53-48, despite Warren Williams’ hat-trick for the Griffons, while Griquas extended their lead at the top of the section’s log with a 54-17 bonus-point win against the Leopards.

Western Province are the only undefeated team left in the competition after registering a fifth straight victory against the EP Kings (39-24) at City Park in Cape Town. And in the other South Section clash, the Boland Cavaliers avenged their first-round loss to the Border Bulldogs with a narrow 21-20 victory in Ceres.

Welwitschias (45) – Tries: Gino Wilson (2), Roderiques Victor, David Philander, Johann Greyling, Lesley Kim. Conversions: Theuns Kotze (6). Penalty: Kotze.
Valke (43) – Tries: Johannes Pretorius (2), Shane Kirkwood, Grant Janke, Etienne Taljaard, Reg Muller, Marco Klopper. Conversions: Christian Rust (4).

Pumas (35) – Tries: Marco Janse van Rensburg, Ryan Nell, Hennie Skorbinski, Frank Herne. Conversions: Kobus Marais (3). Penalties: Marais (3).
Blue Bulls (29) – Tries: Shaun Adendorff (2), Franco Naude, penalty try. Conversions: Tinus de Beer (2). Penalty: Joshua Stander.

Griffons (48) – Tries: Gabriel Engelbrecht, Warren Williams (3), Neil Claassen, Rodney Damons, Jasper Wiese. Conversions: Duan Pretorius (5). Penalty: Robbie Petzer.
Free State XV (53) – Tries: Ali Mgijima (2), Michael van der Spuy, Luther Obi (2), JW Jonker, Ntokoza Vidima. Conversions: Marco Mason (6). Penalties: Mason (2).

Griquas (54) – Tries: Jason Fraser (2), Tertius Kruger, Adriaan Coertzen, Andre Swarts, Renier Botha, George Whitehead. Conversions: Swarts (5). Penalties: Swarts (3).
Leopards (17) – Tries: Juan Language, Jeandre Rudolph, Elden Schoeman. Conversion: Schalk Hugo.

Western Province (39) – Tries: Craig Barry (2), Marcello Sampson, Jaco Coetzee, Chad Solomon, Khanyo Ngcukana. Conversions: Brandon Thomson (3). Penalty: Thomson.
EP Kings (24) – Tries: Wandile Mjekevu, Siyanda Grey, Michael Brink. Conversions: Garrick Mattheus (3). Penalty: Mattheus.

Boland Cavaliers (21) – Tries: Sergio Torrens, Divan Nel. Conversion: Nel. Penalties: Divan Nel (3).
Border Bulldogs (20) – Tries: Sinovuyo Nyoka, Yanga Xakalashe, Oliver Zono. Conversion: Zono. Penalty: Zono.

Photo: Nambian Rugby Union/Uwe Photos

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Mariette Adams