WINDHOEK – Namibia’s dominance in the U/20 Africa Gold Cup yesterday came to a halt when the country’s U/20 rugby team lost 18-21 in a tightly contested final of the U/20 Barthés Rugby Africa Trophy in Nairobi, Kenya.
With the defeat, Namibia missed out on qualification to the 2019 World Junior Rugby Trophy tournament in Brazil and will now see Kenya being the sole representative of Africa at the tournament in July in Brazil.
The 2019 World Rugby U/20 Trophy will be the twelfth annual international rugby union competition for Under 20 national teams, which is a second-tier world championship. The event will be held at the Estádio Martins Pereira in São José dos Campos from 9 to 21 July and will be organized by rugby’s governing body, World Rugby.
Kenya yesterday finally found a formula to down Namibia who have cut short their dreams of returning to the world junior competition since 2009, having lost the last three finals to Namibia. The last time Kenya qualified for the World Trophy was a decade ago when they hosted the competition.
Namibia last Thursday defeated Senegal 45-12 to book a place in the final of the 2019 Rugby Africa U/20 Barthes Trophy, where they met Kenya late yesterday.
The U/20 Barthés Trophy is the only Rugby Africa junior tournament, which sees 12 teams compete in various pools. The tournament is composed of three ranking-based groups in which each team plays two matches.