Namibia thrash Russia

Date published: July 19 2015

Namibia defeated Russia 45-5 in Windhoek on Saturday to clinch the their Test series 2-0 after the hosts also won the first test a week ago 39-19.

Conrad Marais scored a hat-trick in a comfortable win for the Namibians.

Namibia fly-half Thenus Kotzè slotted a third minute penalty, with Man of the Match winger Russell van Wyk then scoring his third try in as many test matches to put the hosts in the lead 8-0.

Kotzè converted and then added two more penalties leaving Namibia in full command at 16-0.

Like last week Russia scored late in the first half and the lack of concentration towards the break will be of concern to the Namibian coaching staff. A clever move at the front of the line out saw Russian hooker Evgeny Matveev score his side’s only points of the match.

The visitors started the second half with more intent only to see all their good intentions go up in smoke when they lost possession on Namibia’s 22, fly-half Kotze countering and running almost the entire half of the field to score at the other side with a spectacular effort which had the home crowd on their feet.

With Russia’s frustration growing by the minute South African referee Marius van der Westhuizen had his work cut out to put a lid on things, after a scuffle inside’s Namibia’s 22, Namibian captain Jacques Burger and Russia’s centre Dmitriy Gerasimov both spent ten minutes cooling off after receiving a yellow card.

Russia’s lack of discipline cost the visitors when a try at a crucial stage of the match was disallowed after the assistant referee spotted loose-forward Pavel Butenko throw a number of punches. Butenko was also sent to the sin-bin with Russia down to 13 men. 

The Bourg-en-Bresse based fly-half Kotzè had one of his best performances in the blue jersey and almost everything he touched turned into gold. Twenty minutes into the match Kotzè executed a near perfect cross-kick. The well weighted kick found another French-based player, Conrad Marais, who scored Namibia’s third try of the afternoon which Kotzè converted along with a third penalty to extend his side’s lead to 31-5.

Five minutes before the final whistle Namibia again won turn-over possession, another counter attack from deep inside their own territory saw Burger producing a clever kick, Marais again was the grateful recipient and used his pace to score his second try of the match. On the stroke of full-time the Namibians could have easily kicked for touch with the win secured but instead delighted their supporters with another spectacular long-range try. Replacement Johan Tromp set up Marais who completed his hat-trick and an emphatic performance by the hosts.

Kotzè was named Man of the Match after a polished performance with personal contribution of twenty points that included a try.

Namibia will now enjoy a three-week break before facing Kenya in Windhoek on August 8 in the Africa Cup competition.

Assistant coach Pieter Roussouw said: “The two victories against a side ranked higher than us would have given the players a great deal of confidence and to beat a side like Russia is good for us but now we need to build on that and improve even further going forward."

The scorers:

For Namibia:
Tries: Van Wyk, Kotzè, Marais 3
Kotzè 4
Pens: Kotzè 4
Yellow Cards: Burger

For Russia:
Tries: Mateev

Yellow Cards: Geramisov, Butenko