Vipers, Swallows through to final 

Vipers centre Nicky Shimakaleni on the attack against Okahandja Highlanders. Photo: Helge Schütz

Vipers Rugby Club and Oceans Swallows are through to the Windhoek Lager Rugby First Division final after they both narrowly won their semifinals on Saturday.

The Windhoek-based Vipers beat Okahandja Highlanders 20-18, while a late penalty by Swallows flyhalf Jamaal van Wyk gave them a 19-17 win against Etosha Lions. 

In the first semifinal, the Highlanders went 6-0 ahead after two penalties by centre Andre Majiedt, but the Vipers struck back when eighthman Owen Swartz crashed over from a maul and with scrumhalf Luandru Oberholzer adding the conversion they went 7-6 ahead. 

The Highlanders regained the lead when hooker Vala Tjitjo barged over for a try, but two penalties by Oberholzer put the Vipers 13-11 ahead by the halftime break. 

Swartz crashed over for his second try early in the second half and with Oberholzer converting, the Vipers went 20-11 ahead. 

The Highlanders upped the tempo after the break and put the Vipers under great pressure as they camped on their tryline, but the Vipers defended courageously to keep them at bay. 

The Highlanders’ pressure finally told when right wing Duncan Subeb went over for a try after a great break by Majiedt, who added the conversion, but it was too little too late as the Vipers held on for a two-point win. 

Etosha Lions wing Corne du Plessis on the attack against Ocean Swallows. Photo: Helge Schütz

In the second semifinal, Swallows’ young flyhalf Van Wyk was their hero as he scored 14 points with the boot to seal the match.

The Etosha Lions did the early attacking, with flanker Charlton Somseb and eighthman Nguvitja Tjarando prominent, while lock Mireti Muhuure nearly went over for a try. 

Swallows, however, defended courageously and took the lead after 30 minutes when Van Wyk put over his first penalty.

Swallows went 10-0 ahead early in the second half when hooker Owen Fredericks went over from a forward maul, and when Van Wyk added a 50m penalty they took a comfortable 13-0 lead. 

The Lions, however, made a stirring comeback and opened their account when wing Corne du Plessis crashed over in the corner for a try that he converted himself. 

A Van Wyk penalty stretched Swallows’ lead to 16-7, but the Lions once again struck back with a try by lock Jean du Plessis and when eighthman Nguvitja Tjarando also touched down, the Lions were in the lead for the first time at 17-16. 

Van Wyk, however, had the final say when he put over a penalty in the dying minutes to hand Swallows a tight victory. 

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