Rehoboth still in the hunt

Rehoboth still in the hunt
Rehoboth still in the hunt

Africa-Press – Namibia. FNB REHOBOTH kept their hopes alive of qualifying for the Rugby Premier League semifinals with a great comeback to force a 22-all draw against FNB Western Suburbs on Saturday.

In other results, FNB Wanderers beat FNB Unam 32-27, FNB Grootfontein beat FNB Kudus, and Trustco United beat FNB Reho Falcon 35-26.

With one round of matches now remaining before the knockout stages, Kudus, Wanderers and Unam are assured of semifinal places, but Suburbs and Rehoboth will have to fight it out for the final spot.

At the Hage Geingob Stadium on Saturday, Suburbs seemed to be well in control when they built up a 16-3 lead at halftime, but a great second half comeback saw Rehoboth grabbing a share of the spoils.

Suburbs built up a 9-3 lead after two penalties by Ricardo Swartz and one by Justin Nel, with Cliven Loubser replying for Rehoboth.

Suburbs continued to bash away at Rehoboth’s defence and scrumhalf AJ Kearns finally went over for their first try, which he converted himself as they went 16-3 ahead at half time.

Another Nel penalty put them 19-3 ahead early in the second half before Rehoboth started their comeback, with their national flyhalf Cliven Loubser at the centre of their attacks.

After fullback Jeandre Loubser and prop Carl-William Freygang nearly broke through Suburbs’ defence, centre Keathan Freygang finally went over after a quick tap penalty.

Loubser added the conversion but another Nel penalty put Suburbs 22-10 ahead with 20 minutes remaining.

Rehoboth struck back with a vengeance and lock Charl Freygang finally dived over from a maul, and although Loubser missed the conversion they had narrowed the gap to 22-15.

The momentum had swung to Rehoboth and some great handling, including a quick backhand pass by Carl-William Freygang put flanker Boris Majiedt over in the right hand corner. Loubser added a great conversion from the touchline to draw level at 22-22.

Suburbs came back strongly with Kearns nearly dotting down and they could have won the match when they won a penalty in injury time, but Nel’s kick drifted wide.

The draw has now kept Rehoboth’s chances of making the semifinals alive as they are still just two points behind Suburbs on the log, while they also seem to have an easier final match at home to Reho Falcon, while Suburbs face a tough match away to Kudus.

Suburbs, however, will draw hope from Grootfontein’s 29-19 victory at home against Kudus on Saturday, as the coastal side suffered only their second defeat of the season.

Grootfontein scored four tries through flanker Jonathan David, prop Adriaan Bernardus, hooker Wicus Jacobs, and a penalty try, while Louis Grobbelaar added two conversions and a penalty.

The victory however is not enough for them to make the semis as they remain sixth on the log, seven points behind Rehoboth.

FNB Wanderers, meanwhile, went top of the log after a hard fought 32-27 victory against FNB Unam.

In an even first half, hooker Obert Nortje scored two tries for Wanderers, while centre Darryl Wellmann did the same for Unam, but Wanderers went 21-12 when right wing Nandi Karuuombe touched down, with Andre van der Berg adding the conversion.

Unam fullback Aljarreau Zaahl reduced the gap to 21-15 with a penalty just before halftime.

In the second half Wanderers went 26-15 ahead after a converted try by wing JC Greyling, but Unam replied with a try by flanker Prince !Gaoseb, as Wanderers held a narrow 26-22 lead with half an hour to go.

Another Van der Berg penalty put Wanderers 29-22 ahead, but Unam struck back as Wellmann went over for his third try, and although Zaahl missed the conversion, they were just 29-27 behind.

Wanderers however held out and another Van der Berg penalty gave them a 32-27 victory.

At Rehoboth, Trustco United beat FNB Reho Falcon 35-26 to leave Falcons at the bottom of the log.

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