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Kudus, Wanderers pull away

FNB Kudus and FNB Wanderers opened up a gap on the chasing pack after matches in Round 8 of the Namibian Rugby Premier League on Saturday. 

Kudus beat Trustco United 38-21 at Walvis Bay to replace Wanderers at the top of the log on 34 points, while Wanderers drop down to second place on 33 points after being held to a 25-25 draw by Rehoboth. 

United are now third on 28 points after their defeat to Kudus, while FNB Western Suburbs moved up to fourth position on 21 points after beating FNB Grootfontein 32-25.

FNB Unam, meanwhile, beat FNB Reho Falcon 38-26 to move up to fifth place on 19 points. 

Kudus returned to the top of the log after a commanding 39-21 victory against United at Walvis Bay. 

United started off strongly and still held an 11-10 lead at halftime, but Kudus turned up the tempo after the break to eventually score five tries for a comfortable win. 

Centre Justin Newman scored two tries, and scrumhalf Rayton Paulse, centre PJ Walters and replacement back Geraldo Beukes one each, while flyhalf Aurelio Plato added four conversions and two penalties for a personal tally of 14 points. 

The win saw Kudus one again going to the top of the log after former log leaders Wanderers were held to a 25-draw by Rehoboth in a thrilling match at the Wanderers field. 

Rehoboth took an early lead through a penalty by flyhalf Henrique Olivier, but Wanderers immediately struck back and after constant pressure, flanker Driaan Vorster bashed his way over for a try, and with flyhalf Ethan Koopman adding the conversion they went 7-3 ahead. 

Rehoboth attacked furiously but Wanderers’ defence stood firm and after the kickers traded penalties, Wanderers went 10-6 ahead midway through the first half. 

Rehoboth regained the lead after a fine break by scrumhalf Gurthley Beukes, who’s grubber kick was dotted down in the corner by left wing Dolano Vries and with Olivier adding a great conversion from touch they went 13-10 ahead. 

Barely three minutes later Rehoboth scored again with eighthman Edward Drotski going over after an impressive rolling maul and with Olivier once again converting they took a 20-10 lead into the halftime break. 

Wanderers came out attacking after the break as Koopman put over a penalty before a fine pass by Bredell Wessels created space for centre Danie van der Merwe to go over for a try, and although Koopman’s conversion attempt drifted wide they were now just two points behind at 20-18. 

The momentum swung back to Rehoboth as they camped on Wanderers’ tryline, before Drotskie once again went over after another driving maul to go 25-18 ahead. 

Wanderers struck back in similar fashion when substitute forward NG Swart went over from a driving maul and with substitute scrumhalf Eugene Jantjies adding the conversion the sides were level at 25-all. 

Rehoboth struck back with furious attacks in the dying minutes of the game and could have won it when they won a last minute penalty, but Olivier’s attempt drifted narrowly wide as the sides had to settle for a draw. 

The draw put Wanderers one point behind log leaders Kudus, while Rehoboth are now sixth on 19 points. 

Kevin Cloete Rehoboth captain interviewed after their 25-25 draw against Wanderers on 24 June 2023. Video: Helge Schütz

Unam’s revival continued as they beat Reho Falcon 38-26 to go join Rehoboth on 19 points on the log. 

Unam ran in six tries with fullback Aljarreau Zaahl scoring two and a conversion, while centres Kieron Diergaardt and Johannes Mwenyo, scrumhalf AJ Kearns and lock Conwill Draghoender scored one each, with flyhalf Raschano van Rooi adding three conversions. 

Falcons scored three tries through lock Lwando Nteta, leftwing Prince January and centre Franklin Karigub, while rightwing Enrique Husselmann added three penalties and scrumhalf Dillon Kahmann one conversion. 

Western Suburbs, meanwhile, moved up to fourth place on 21 points after beating Grootfontein 32-25. Grootfontein held a narrow 17-15 lead by the halftime break, but Suburbs finished stronger to take the spoils. 

Suburbs scored four tries through centre Jayden Links (two), winger Dumarcho Hartung and hooker Vernon Diergaardt (two), while flyhalf Justin Nel added three conversions and two penalties. 

Grootfontein scored three tries through eighthman Amutenya Amutenya, hooker Carel Swanepoel and substitute forward Wicus Jacobs, while fullback Ronald Deck added two conversions and two penalties.