Leopards too strong for Namibia
Leopards too strong for NamibiaSHARE
The Leopards proved too strong for Namibia on Day Two of Craven Week in Middelburg, scoring eight tries on the way to a 53-13 victory.
Namibia started off like a house on fire, enthusiastic, direct and physical, but it did not take long for the Leopards to squash that out of them with greater directness, strength and speed. As the game went on Namibia got less and less of possession and their fragile hands meant losing possession far too easily.
Namibia played with the cold wind and exerted early pressure. They missed an early penalty at the kick-off but stayed on the attack will the Leopards burst out and were close on the left but then Namibia kicked a long, wind-assisted kick down into the Leopards 22 where they dithered inordinately, lost the ball and conceded a penalty which PW Steenkamp goaled. 3-0 after 13 minutes.
It was a contest and not really a, augury of things to come.
The Leopards were quick to hit back with many advancing phases till Stefan Van Vuuren, a late arrival into the team because of injury, made it possible for Garran Kriek to enjoy an overlap. The burly wing held onto a high pass and scored in the left corner. 5-3 to the Leopards after 15 minutes.
The Leopards handling – perhaps because of the cold wind – broke up their good intentions and when their backs were up early at a line-out, PW Steenkamp restored Namibia's lead. 6-5 after 20 minutes.
Two tries in four minutes blotted out that lead.
First the Leopards won one of their many turnovers and Edmund Rheeder put in a strong run. The Leopards went wide and Stefan van Vuuren scored. 10-6 after 26 minutes.
The Leopards won another turnover, Stefan van Vuuren again did well and this time big, strong, quick Edmund van Rheeder burst over. 15-6 after 30 minutes, which was the half-time score.
Buy now the writing was on the wall and bravely as the Namibians battled they were really overwhelmed.
The Leopards tapped a penalty and massive Thabiso Khanye ploughed ahead. The Namibians were penalised again and this time flank Gerhardus Steenekamp flashed over for the first of his tries, Markus Coetzer converted for the first time in the match., 22-6 just one minute into the second half.
At this stage the Leopards were using their big men to batter at the Namibians.
Markus Coetzer, a big centre, countered when Namibia failed to find touch from a penalty and the Leopards were attacking again. Big lock Jaco Swanepoel charged ahead and gave to Markus Coetzer who was over in a flash. 29-6 after 42 minutes.
Then Namibia scored and it was a remarkable try.
The Leopards were on the attack and a pass-back put Namibia in trouble behind their line. Rather than concede a five-metre scrum fullback Stiaan van der Merwe started running to his right behind his line. The ball went out to right wing Milaan van Wyk, short but sturdy. The wing broke clear and raced down the tight. He kicked ahead and the Leopards, who had been intent on attack, fumbled around for the bouncing ball which scrumhalf Armondo van Wyk picked up and raced through for a try under the posts. 29-13 after 51 minutes, after a 103 metres try. It could hardly have been more against the run of play.
The rest of the match was spent watching the Leopards racking up the points. Stefan van Vuuren was again creative on the attack and little Thabang Phatudi burst over for a try as he was tackled. 36-13 after 57 minutes.
From a scrum on the Leopard's right big wing Mogau Mphalele came off his wing to breach the defence for Gerhardus Steenekamp to burst clear for the try. 43-13.
Just after this Namibia were penalised and, surprisingly, the Leopards opted to kick at goal. 46-13 with three minutes to play.
The end bit of the match went on and on as both sides were keen to score but the Namibians made not progress and eventually it was Markus Coetzer who burst over for the try.
Man of the Match: Obviously the Leopards were dominant and the most impressive players on the field were Leopards, especially Edmund Rheeder, Jaco Swanepoel and Gerhardus Steenekamp in the pack and Stefan van Vuuren and Markus Coetzer in the centres but for sheer determination, for making a difference every time he got the ball Milaan van Wyk was outstanding on the Namibian wing.
Tries: Edmund Rheeder, Garann Kriek, Gerhardus Steenekamp 2 , Markus Coetzer 2, Stefan van Vuuren, Thabang Phatudi
Cons: Coetzer 5
Try: Van Wyk
Leopards: 15 Jano Smith (Schweizer-Reneke), 20 Garann Kriek (Potchstroom Gim), 13 Markus Coetzer (Bergsig), Stefan v an Vuuren, 21 Keanu van der Merwe (Potchstroom Gim), 10 Hein Claase (Rustenburg), 9 Thabang Phatudi (Klerksdorp), 8 Edmund Rheeder (Klerksdorp), 7 Gerhardus Steenekamp (Potchstroom Gim), 6 Brenden Esterhuizen (Rustenburg), 5 Jaco Swanepoel (captain) (Schweizer-Reneke), 4 Oratile Mabusela (Potchstroom Boys' High), 3 Thabiso Khanye (Potchstroom Boys' High), 2 Roodt van Zyl (Schweizer-Reneke), 1 Charl le Roux (Rustenburg)
Replacements: 16 Ryno Visagie (Potchstroom Volkskool), 17 Neo Thekiso (Potchstroom Boys' High), 18 Douglas Bruce-Smith (Klerksdorp), 19 Moses Makhubelo (Potchstroom Boys' High), 11 Paul Maluleke (Klerksdorp), 22 Gift Matoase (Potchstroom Volkskool), 14 Mogau Mphalele (Potchstroom Boys' High)
Namibia: 15 Stiaan van der Merwe , 14 Allistair Miller (Walvis Bay), 13 Brendon du Plessis (Privaatskool Elnatan), 12 Justin Newman (Windhoek Gimnasium), 11 Milaan van Wyk (Windhoek Gimnasium), 10 Christopher Arries (Windhoek High School), 20 Amondo van Wyk, 8 Johan Retief (Windhoek Gimnasium), 7 HJ du Plessis (Windhoek High School), 6 Karl Grundling (Windhoek Afrikaanse Privaatskool), 5 André Augustyn (Windhoek High School), 4 Ruan Kok (Privaatskool Elnatan), 17 Jason Benadé (Dr Lemmer High School), 16 Jandré van Wyk (Privaatskool Elnatan), 18 Dylon Husselman (Dr Lemmer High School)
Replacements: 2 Desmond Stramis (Windhoek Gymnasium), 1 Hans Breedt (Tsumeb Gimnasium), 3 Torsten Stahn (Windhoek Gimnasium), 19 Freddy Puriza (Windhoek High School), 9 Stefan Potgieter (Tsumeb Gimnasium), 21 PJ Singarem (Windhoek Gimnasium), 14 Wilrico Theron (Edugate Academy), 22 Unamasa Kavita
Referee: Eduan Nel
Assistant referees: Archie Sehlako, Cwengile Jadezweni
Assessor: Pierre Oelofse
Television match officials: Jason Jaftha/Francois Pretorius