Namibia thrash Morocco 63-7

Namibia beat newly-promoted Morocco 63-7 in a Rugby Africa Gold Cup match played at the Stade du COC in Casablanca, Morocco on Saturday afternoon.

02 July 2018 | Sports

Defending champions Namibia have walloped a hapless Morocco 63-7 to register their third straight win in this year's Rugby Africa Gold Cup.

Namibia have so far earned 15 points in the competition, putting them in pole position to qualify for the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan.

It didn't take long for Namibia to take control of the game in front of the Moroccan fans who gathered at the stadium.

On seven minutes Johannes Coetzee opened the scoring with a try, after forcing his way through Morocco's defence.

Cliven Loubser converted successfully. Three minutes later vice-captain Pieter-Jan van Lill doubled the lead with an impressive break, before grounding the ball between the posts. He was then imitated by one of Namibia's best men on the field, Janco Venter.

The game was one-sided and the teams went back to their changing rooms with the visitors leading 35-0.

After the halftime break, Morocco looked more eager to take the game to Namibia.

With a more compact defence, Morocco closed ranks and scored a try through Karim Qadiri, surprising the slow Namibian defence.

Unfortunately for Morocco, Bilal Dikhal was sent off after a bad foul in the second half.

The Atlas Lions never found the resources to move closer to their opponent's points tally, while Loubser and Janco Venter both went on to score for the seven-time African champions. The game finished with a round of applause from the fans to encourage Morocco, and of course to salute Namibia for a great performance.

“We knew this team was physical, so we matched them. We did a good job, and I think we're lucky to get the five points. We got here on Tuesday and we prepared well, even though travelling the long distance is hard. Congrats to Morocco for a good game and a good spirit,” Namibia's captain Johan Deysel said.

Morocco's captain Hocine Arabat said they had faced a great team.

“We lost today, but we faced a great team, with very fast in the backs. They exploited our errors and we lost balls. We're in the African Gold Cup and there is still a lot of work to stay at this level. We still have two games to play and we'll try everything to win.”

Abdelaziz Bougja, chairman of World Rugby's African Association, said Namibia was just too strong.

“With all the injuries the Moroccan team have picked up, they have shown a lot of courage. Needless to say, the histories are different, preparation is different. Namibia has represented Africa so many times at the World Cup, they can count on support from World Rugby and it shows on the field.

“There is a huge difference in the means put into the teams' preparations. Most importantly, we watched a very good game of rugby, in spite of the 50-points difference,” Bougja said.

Nicolas Pompigne-Mognard, founder and CEO of the APO Group, said: “In spite of a final score largely in favour of Namibia, both teams played well in Casablanca. Of course, I salute Namibia's third victory in a row, which puts them at the top of the 2018 Rugby Africa Gold Cup standings, and I congratulate the Moroccans who scored their first try of this tournament against the defending champions.”

Next weekend Tunisia will host Zimbabwe, while Kenya takes on Uganda.

Morocco's final two games will both be away - first against Uganda on 11 August and then against Tunisia on 18 August.

Namibia, on the other hand, is playing away in Zimbabwe on 4 August, before hosting Kenya on 18 August.

-CNBAFRICA.COM

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