WINDHOEK – For the umpteenth time Namibia’s rugby second stringers, the Windhoek Draught Welwitschias, on Saturday again failed to make an impact in the ongoing Supersport Rugby Challenge when they suffered a humiliating 106-0 defeat at the claws of South African outfit IGS Pumas at the Mbombela Stadium in Mpumalanga.
Saturday’s loss was Namibia’s sixth consecutive defeat in the Supersport Rugby Challenge tournament, and saw the Namibian amateurs remain bottom of the North Section of the competition with no points.
Unbeaten Pumas, who led 49-0 at halftime, were relentless in perfect conditions and ran in a massive 16 tries to none. Pumas’ flyhalf Jacobus Marais had a telling day contributing 27 points with a first-half try and 11 conversions from his educated boot.
Centre Johann Vermaak started the carnage with a second-minute try converted by flyhalf Marais and six more converted tries saw the Pumas lead 49-0 at halftime. Pumas number 8 Marco Palvie crossed the tryline twice after the break to complete his hat-trick for the afternoon. Right wing Jean-Paul Lewis scored two second-half tries while centre Henko scored either side of halftime to also claim a double. Replacement Hilton Lobberts also dotted down twice to complete a rout the Namibians would want to quickly want to forget. The Welwitschias squad participating in this competition comprises an assortment of experienced and upcoming youngsters, a blending process that will go a long way in helping shape Namibia’s preparations for the World Cup in Japan. In a change of competition format from previous years, the SuperSport Rugby Challenge has this year been split into two sections – North and South – with the top two teams from each section progressing to the semifinals. Defending champions, the Pumas, spearhead the North Section alongside the Down Touch Griffons, Leopards, Blue Bulls, Namibia, Golden Lions XV, Griquas and Valke, while the South Section consists of the Free State XV, Sharks XV, SWD Eagles, Western Province, Boland, EP Elephants, Border and Zimbabwe.
The SuperSport Rugby Challenge is the secondary domestic rugby union competition in South Africa, organised by the South African Rugby Union and features all fourteen South African provincial unions plus Namibian side the Welwitschias and Zimbabwe. The inaugural season of the competition was in 2017, set up as the long-term successor of the Vodacom Cup. – Additional info: Supersport.com