The University of Namibia (Unam) Rugby Club were crowned champions of the Namibia Rugby Union (NRU) Premier League, following a 30-20 win over Western Suburbs at the Hage Geingob stadium on Saturday.
It was an evenly contested final in almost all playing departments, but Unam proved to be the most clinical of both teams whenever scoring chances presented themselves.
Suburbs were first to open the scoresheet with an unconverted try, to which Unam responded with a well-executed penalty minutes later to bring the score to 5-3. Suburbs extended their lead with another unconverted try to take the score to 10-3.
But their lead was soon under threat as Unam were awarded two penalties, which they buried between the poles to cut the score to 10-9. Slowly finding their rhythm, Unam kept pushing forward and were soon rewarded for their efforts when they scored a try and a subsequent conversion, which saw them taking the scoreline to 16-10 at halftime.
Suburbs struck back in the second half when they scored a try and a conversion to regain the lead with a score of 17-16. They further stretched their lead to 20-16 through a penalty. Just as Suburbs looked set for the win, Unam fought their way back into the game when they scored a try and conversion to again take the lead with 24 -20.
Unam were awarded two late penalties that saw them score to win the match 30-20 and be crowned 2021 champions of the NRU Premier League.
In a post-match interview, Unam head coach Johan Diergaardt said he was happy with how his boys conducted themselves throughout the match, saying they proved that they were the hungrier team when compared to their opponents.
“I’m grateful that my boys lasted the entire 80 minutes. It was a tough match, and the scrums were hard as well. I think it was the same for Suburbs, but they did well in bringing the game to us. But how can someone not be happy with this great win? We lost a lot of players throughout the season to injuries, but we still managed to stay on top of our game. It is a privilege being here with the boys,” said the delighted veteran gaffer.
Meanwhile, Suburb’s mentor Jacques Bock admitted that a few errors cost them the match, but said he was in general happy with the fighting spirit of his charges.
“We made a couple of errors in the wrong areas, which cost us a lot. We also lost a lot of players coming into the final. But I don’t want to make it an excuse; the match did not just go our way today,” he added.
Meanwhile, coastal outfit Kudus defeated Suburbs by 32-17 to be crowned champions of the NRU Reserve League, which was played at the same stadium earlier.
Caption: Rugby jpg – Champions…Unam were on Saturday crowned winners of the 2021 NRU Premier League trophy after beating Western Suburbs at the Hage Geingob stadium in the capital. -Photo: NBC Sport desk