Namibia’s senior rugby team, the Welwitschias, on Friday moved an inch closer to realising their dream of qualifying for next year’s Rugby World Cup when they defeated Burkina Faso 71-5 during their Rugby Africa Cup quarterfinals clash at Stade Pierre Delort in Marseille, France.
Namibia’s captain Torsten van Jaarsveld was the hero for the Welwitschias as he scored a hat trick of tries in their quarterfinal win against Burkina Faso. The opening match pitted the highest competing team on the World Rugby Men’s Rankings against the lowest.
24th-ranked Namibia, bidding to reach a seventh successive Rugby World Cup, rarely looked in danger of losing to number 91, Burkina Faso.
After Friday win, Namibia will now face Zimbabwe in Aix-en-Provence on Wednesday, after the Sables of Zimbabwe continued their impressive recent form with a 38-11 victory against Ivory Coast.
Zimbabwe, who jumped seven places to 27th in last week’s rankings, ran in five tries to maintain their hopes of qualifying for a first World Cup since 1991.
Matthew McNab scored the first try of the match before Shayne Makombe crossed twice, either side of half time.
Aiden Burnett, with his first touch, and Matthew Mandioma then put the seal on victory.
Meanwhile on Saturday, Kenya also secured their passage to the semifinals with a 42-7 defeat of Uganda before Algeria won 35-12 against 14-player Senegal.
All teams will be back in action on Wednesday when Kenya take on Algeria and Namibia face Zimbabwe for a place in Sunday’s final. The 2022 Rugby Africa Cup also doubles up as the continent’s qualifying tournament for the 2023 Rugby World Cup
Whoever emerges as 2022 Rugby Africa Cup champions this coming weekend, will take their place in Pool A at next year’s World Cup as Africa 1, alongside France, New Zealand, Italy and Uruguay.
The runners-up will head into the Final Qualification Tournament.