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Rugby | Currie Cup First Division

Martin du Toit © Gallo Images

14-man SWD hang on in Windhoek



The SWD Eagles clung on for a 36-32 win (halftime 17- 8) over the Welwitschias in their Currie Cup First Division encounter at the Hage Geingob Stadium in Windhoek on Saturday.

In spite of having to play the last half hour of the match with 14 men on the park after outside centre Tyler Fisher was red carded, the men from George showed great resolve to cling on for a crucial bonus-point win.

Eleven tries in total were scored, with the hosts accounting for five and the victorious visitors claiming six.

It was the Eagles who got proceedings under way with tries from hooker Jacques Vermaak and flank Janneman Stander inside the first 15 minutes to take a 12-0 lead.

The Namibians hit back with an unconverted David Philander try and a Theuns Kotze penalty to cut the deficit to four points.

Replacement hooker Kurt Haupt got himself on the scoresheet on the half hour mark to extend the Eagles' lead, allowing the visitors to take 17-8 advantage when the halftime whistle sounded.

Fisher's red card in the 50th minute proved to be a worrying factor for the Eagles as the Welwitschias capitalised almost immediately with a try through flanker Rohan Kitshoff.

Kotze converted to cut the gap to two points, but just two minutes later, the Naimbians allowed SWD skipper Martin du Toit to cross for his team's bonus-point fourth try.

Marlou van Niekerk took over the kicking duties from Leighton Eksteen and was successful with the conversion, before Haupt completed his brace with a try in the 56th minute, which Van Niekerk also managed to convert.

With a 31-15 ascendancy heading into the last quarter, SWD seemed to have nullified their numerical disadvantage, however two quick tries through Johan Tromp JC Greyling allowed the Welwitschias to come back into the game.

Leading by just four points at this stage, Du Toit gave his team some breathing room with his second score in the 70th minute, albeit that Van Niekerk missed the conversion.

The ebb and flow continued with an unconverted Christo van der Merwe score for the Namibians five minutes from time, however SWD managed to survive to take a 36-32 win.

A tense and nervy match which produced plenty of tries, but ultimately it was the visitors who emerged the victors by managing to cling on with 14 men for a large portion of the match.

SCORERS:

Welwitschias - Tries: David Philander, Rohan Kitshoff, Johan Tromp, JC Greyling, Christo van der Merwe; Cons: Theuns Kotze (2), Pens: Kotze.

SWD Eagles - Tries: Jacques Vermaak, Janneman Stander, Kurt Haupt (2), Martin du Toit (2); Cons: Leighton Eksteen, Marlou van Niekerk (2).



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