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Namibia claim World Cup spot

Sun, 06 Jul 2014 13:45
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Namibia qualified for a fifth consecutive Rugby World Cup after crushing African qualifying tournament hosts Madagascar 89-10.
 
The Namibians go into Pool C with their opening match of the 2015 tournament against defending champions the New Zealand All Blacks at the London Olympic Stadium.
 
Namibia will also face Tonga, Georgia and Argentina in the First Round of the tournament with the pool winners and runners-up advancing to the quarter-finals.
 
Second-place Zimbabwe face an early August journey to Siberian city Krasnoyarsk for a repechage semi-final against Russia with the winners facing Uruguay or Hong Kong for a World Cup place.
 
Zimbabwe overcame Kenya 28-10 in the first half of a double-header with Lions flyhalf Guy Cronje scoring 18 points.
 
Needing a 53-point, bonus-point victory in the final match of the four-nation mini-league to overtake Zimbabwe, the Namibians ran in 13 tries with flyhalf Theuns Kotze converting all but one.
 
South Africa-based No.8 Renaldo Bothma scored the first try after 13 minutes at a chilly and windy Stade Mahamasina in the Malagasy capital.
 
That was the signal for the floodgates to open as the Namibians ran riot against far lighter and shorter opponents on a dry, hard pitch.
 
By half-time Namibia had amassed 56 unanswered points from eight converted tries and after the Malagasy scored their lone try, the procession toward the hosts' try-line resumed.
 
Bothma, right wing David Philander, full-back Chrystander Botha, flank Rohan Kitshoff, prop Jaco Engels, centre Heinrich Smit and right wing Johan Tromp scored Namibian tries.
 
The Argentine referee also awarded the winners two penalty tries after collapsed scrums and the post robbed Kotze of a perfect conversions record.
 
Madagascar skipper and flyhalf Jose Rakoto Harison slotted a penalty and converted a try by replacement Tolotriniaina Rakotoson.
 
Scorers:
 
Namibia:
Tries: Bothma 4, Philander 2, Botha, Kitshoff, Engels, Smit, Tromp, Penalty tries 2
Cons: Kotze 12
 
Madagascar:
Try: Rakotoson
Con: Rakoto
Pen: Rakoto
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