Wales canter past Namibia

Date published: September 26 2011

Wales recovered from an indifferent second quarter to dispose of Namibia 81-7 in their Pool D encounter in New Plymouth.

Wales recovered from an indifferent second quarter to dispose of Namibia 81-7 in their Pool D encounter in New Plymouth.

The writing was on the wall when the Welsh notched up three tries inside the first twenty minutes, but the Namibians stood firm and it took another opening of the floodgates in the final quarter to see Wales really run away with it.

The early stages where marred by numerous handling errors from the Namibians, who put pressure on themselves as they failed to execute the basics.

Stephen Jones, playing in a Welsh record 101st Test, opened the scoring with a penalty before Scott Williams charged over for the first of his three tries in the seventh minute.

The score was set up by Leigh Halfpenny who came off his left wing to enter the line at pace, passing outside to Williams who outstripped the defence.

It was another mistake from the Namibians whilst on attack that gifted Wales their second try. An errand pass on their opposition's 22m line, allowed Wales to counter-attack and Aled Brew was the man to round off the move.

Some clever work from Ryan Jones, taking a quick tap-penalty from 10m out, put number eight Toby Faletau over in the 17th minute. But with Wales in a commanding 22-0, Namibia sprung to life.

Africa's minnows began to dominate at the breakdown, forcing the Welsh into conceding penalties as they struggled to adjust to the increased tempo from the men in blue.

A change in the front row, with prop Raoul Larson coming on for Johnny Redelinghuys at the end of the first quarter, gave Namibia renewed impetus in the scrums and in the loose.

Such was the effort of the Namibians, that they managed to keep the Welsh at bay for the remainder of the first half.

Williams added his second shortly after the break and three minutes later Gethin Jenkins scored a try to remember as the prop went on a 40m run, brushing off defender after defender before diving over for the score.

However, the Namibians refused to go down quietly and got on the scoreboard in fantastic fashion.

Lock Nico Esterhuyse intercepted the ball on halfway and burst through before offloading to his second-row partner Heinz Koll who gave a lovely little show of the ball on the inside only to sprint around the outside and dive over in the corner.

The scrums were a problem area throughout the night and in the 59th minute, referee Steve Walsh eventually lost his patience and sent Larson to the sin-bin.

Down to 14 men and with a flood of Welsh substitutes making their way to the field, the Namibian resistance was at last crushed for good.

Replacement winger George North made his presence known with a flurry of strong runs, and the youngster was rewarded for his efforts with two tries.

As was the case four days earlier against South Africa, Namibia had nothing left in the tank in the closing stages and near on all the Welsh backs got their name on the score sheet in the final throngs as they ran in seven tries in the final twenty minutes.

Man of the match: The Namibian flankers Jacques Burger and Tinus Du Plessis were massive throughout despite having their backs up against it for 80 minutes.

Moment of the match: Wales had all the running and as a result Heinz Koll's breakaway try brought a smile to the face and was a well-deserved reward for the Namibians. A special mention to Stephen Jones who set a new record of appearances for Wales with a near-flawless kicking display.

Villain of the match: Raoul Larson was carded after persistent infringements at scrum-time but in truth it could have been any member of either front rows to get sent to the bin. It was a hard fought, but clean game.

The scorers:

For Wales:
Tries: S Williams 3, Brew, Faletau, Jenkins, North 2, Davies, L Williams, Byrne, Wyn Jones
Cons: S Jones 6, Preistland 3
Pens: S Jones

For Namibia:
Tries: Koll
Cons: Kotze

Yellow cards: Larson (Namibia)

Wales: 15 Lee Byrne, 14 Leigh Halfpenny, 13 Jonathan Davies, 12 Scott Williams, 11 Aled Brew, 10 Stephen Jones, 9 Tavis Knoyle, 8 Toby Faletau. 7 Sam Warburton (c), 6 Ryan Jones, 5 Alun Wyn Jones, 4 Bradley Davies, 3 Craig Mitchell, 2 Lloyd Burns, 1 Gethin Jenkins.
Replacements: 16 Ken Owens, 17 Ryan Bevington, 18 Luke Charteris, 19 Andy Powell, 20 Lloyd Williams, 21 Rhys Preistland, 22 George North.

Namibia: 15 Chrysander Botha, 14 Danie Van Wyk, 13 Piet Van Zyl, 12 Darryl De La Harpe, 11 Danie Dames, 10 Theuns Kotze, 9 Eugene Jantjies, 8 Jacques Nieuwenhuis, 7 Jacques Burger (c), 6 Tinus Du Plessis, 5 Nico Esterhuyse, 4 Heinz Koll, 3 Jané Du Toit, 2 Hugo Horn, 1 Johnnie Redelinghuys.
Replacements: 16 Bertus O'Callaghan, 17 Raoul Larson, 18 Wacca Kazombiaze, 19 Rohan Kitshoff, 20 Ryan De La Harpe, 21 TC Losper, 22 David Philander.

Referee: Steve Walsh