Falcons go to the top
DEFENDING champions Neo Paints Reho Falcon surged to the top of the Rugby Premier League log after a hard-fought 29-25 victory against former log leaders United in Rehoboth on Saturday.
United still held a 15-5 lead at halftime but a sterling second half performance saw Rehoboth secure the victory. They scored four tries in the process to obtain an extra bonus point and are now one point clear of the chasing pack at the top of the log.
Reho Falcon opened the scoring with a try by right wing Anthony Brand but United took the lead with a converted try by wing Donovan Kandjii, who intercepted the ball on his tryline and raced the length of the field to dot down.
A fine break by Kandjii led to their second try when he fed fullback Guillaume Nel to go over, and with Nel adding the conversion and a penalty, they took a 15-5 lead at halftime.
Falcons came back strongly in the second half, with eighthman Shaun van Rooi prominent with his powerful runs and their pressure finally paid off when wing Heini Bock touched down in the corner.
With flyhalf Lariano van Wyk adding a great conversion from touch, they reduced the deficit to 15-12.
A penalty by Nel put United 18-12 ahead, but Falcons regained the lead at 19-18 after a fine try by flanker Greyling Koopman, converted by Van Wyk.
Falcons kept up the pressure and Shaun van Rooi dived over behind the posts after constant pressure on United’s tryline. Van Wyk added the conversion and a penalty to put Falcons 29-18 ahead and although United got a late converted try by lock Joubert Henning, it was too little too late.
Reho Falcon now lead the log on 21 points, while United drop down to fourth position on 18 points.
Rehoboth moved three places up to second position on 20 points after beating Kudus 14-7 in Narraville.
SUBURBS CLIMB THREE PLACES
Western Suburbs also moved up three places to third position after beating Mariental 21-10 in Mariental.
Mariental started on the attack and took a 10-6 led into the break after two early tries. Suburbs however upped the tempo in the second half to take control of the match. Tries by flanker Munee Tjiueza and centre Raymond Jossob gave them the lead while fullback TC Losper added three penalties and one conversion with the boot.
After a sluggish start to the season that saw Suburbs remaining in the bottom half of the log, they have now reached the top four and seem well set for a place in the semifinals. Their coach Walter Donn said their players showed an urgency that was lacking in previous matches.
“They realised that victory was essential if we want to stay in contention for the league title and I think we have a very strong chance now to make the playoffs,” he said.
In Swakopmund, Dolphins recorded their first victory of the season when they shocked Wanderers with a 29-23 victory.
Dolphins took a 12-3 lead at halftime and then opened up the game with some swift backline attacks to stretch Wanderers’ defence. Centre Cedric Haraseb scored two tries and eighthman Grant Cloete one, while flyhalf Rowan Besser added four penalties and one conversion.
Dolphins’ secretary Calvyn Besser told Namibia Sport that their ploy had worked.
“We attacked with our backline to keep the ball away from their heavier forwards and it worked out in the end. We made use of the chances that came our way,” he said.
Kudus still remain at the bottom of the log, while Wanderers have now dropped down to fifth position on 18 points. With just one match remaining for Wanderers, they are now in danger of not making the semifinal playoffs.