Namibia face Kenya in Africa Gold Cup finale…Tomorrow in Windhoek

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Otniel Hembapu
Windhoek

If they minimise schoolboy errors, perfect their execution and demonstrate a bit of aggression, then the Welwitschias can definitely beat Kenya in tomorrow’s Africa Gold Cup final to retain the African trophy, Namibia’s senior rugby fifteen coach, Roger Thompson, strongly believes.

The Welwitschias will at 16h00 tomorrow confront the Simbas of Kenya in the Africa Gold Cup finale at Hage Geingob Stadium in the capital, with the eventual winner of that match being crowned the new African champions, as well as securing a place in the 2019 World Cup slated for Japan. Namibia, the defending champions of the Gold Cup, last weekend defeated the Cranes of Uganda 48-24 in Kampala to stretch their lead atop the six-team Africa Gold Cup log table to 20 points. They are followed closely by Kenya in second place with 18 points, while Uganda are third with 11 points. Zimbabwe (5 points) and Senegal (1 point) occupy fourth and fifth places. Just like Namibia, Kenya have been in great form and their overall game execution is highly impressive, as witnessed in their recent victories and that is something coach Thompson has taken note of. He says he already has a plan in place to curb that threat. “Kenya is a quality side and they will definitely pose a serious threat to us this weekend, so we have to be alert and ready for them. Over the last couple of weeks, we have worked hard to strengthen our breakdowns and attack techniques and the response from the boys has been very inspiring. They are ready for Kenya and the confidence in their eyes clearly tells you how bad they want it,” Thompson said. Namibia, a tier-two nation in the World Rugby tier system, have participated in five World Cups since their first appearance in 1999 and have won the last three editions of the Africa Gold Cup – in 2014, 2015 and 2016. The Africa Gold Cup, which serves as 2019 World Cup qualifiers, features Namibia, Kenya, Senegal, Tunisia, Zambia and Zimbabwe. The tournament is played on a round robin basis until August 5, with the winner to be crowned Gold Cup champions, thereby also qualifying for the World Cup.  The 2019 Rugby World Cup will take place in Japan from September 20 to November 2 and will be played across 12 venues.

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