Namibia qualify for 2019 RWC, join Boks in Pool B

Namibia (File)
Namibia (File)

Windhoek - Namibia booked their place at the Rugby World Cup for the sixth successive time on Saturday with a 53-28 victory over Kenya.

Namibia will play in Pool B at the 2019 World Cup in Japan alongside defending champions New Zealand, South Africa and Italy as well as the winners of the repechage event.

That final qualifying round will feature Kenya, Germany, Canada and Hong Kong and will be played in Marseille in November.

The winners will take the final spot for the Japan showpiece.

Namibia went onto the offensive from the start on Saturday, forcing the visitors to concede an early penalty try.

But Kenya fought their way back when Sevens star Willy Ambaka, who scored two tries on his Test debut against Tunisia, touched down at the corner and Darwin Mukidza converted to give the visitors a 7-3 lead.

Fullback Chrysander Botha and hooker Louis van der Westhuizen then scored back-to-back tries to put Namibia in the driving seat.

Van der Westhuizen turned over the ball for his second try when he combined well with lock Jan-Pieter van Lill at the start of the second half for a 29-7 lead.

Ambaka would score his second try of the match but it was a little too late for Kenya, as Namibia increased their tally when Max Katjijeko scored the fifth try.

Despite two late tries by replacements Malcolm Onsando and scrumhalf Mohammed Omolo, Namibia extended their domination over the East Africans when Botha and flyhalf Cliven Loubser completed the scoring for the winners.

Meanwhile Zimbabwe, who are coached by former Springbok mentor Peter de Villiers, finished their qualifying campaign on a high note with a 38-18 win over Uganda in Kampala on Saturday.

It was however not enough for them to qualify for the World Cup as they finished fourth in the Africa Gold Cup.

2019 Rugby World Cup draw:

Pool A

Ireland, Scotland, Japan (hosts), Russia, Samoa

Pool B

New Zealand (holders), South Africa, Italy, Namibia, repechage winners

Pool C

England, France, Argentina, United States, Tonga

Pool D

Australia, Wales, Georgia, Fiji, Uruguay

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