Namibia recorded their biggest-ever score in test rugby as they took another step towards reclaiming the Africa Gold Cup with a 118-0 win over Tunisia in Windhoek.
Leslie Klim and JC Greyling both scored four tries apiece and Chrysander Botha grabbed a hat-trick in a victory that puts the Welwitchias in total command at the top of the standings and on course to qualify directly for Rugby World Cup 2019 as Africa 1.
This was the second win for the Welwitschias following their 55-6 victory over Uganda at the same venue a week ago.
Namibia meant business from the start scoring their first try in the second minute through right winger Klim, which was converted by fly-half Cliven Loubser. Captain Johan Deysel added another converted try to make in 12-0 within 10 minutes before Klim got his second, Loubser kicking the extras to put the hosts 21-0 up with only 14 minutes on the clock.
Tunisia were offered a chance to put some points on the board in the 19th minute, but Nejemeddine Khaliea missed his penalty attempt.
Botha then got in on the act with an unconverted try as Namibia's scoring spree continued with man-of-the-match Maharua Katjijeko, Wian Conradie, Greyling, and a penalty try putting the Welwitschias in total control at half-time.
Leading 52-0, Namibia continued from where they left off after the restart, scoring 10 more tries in the second half with Greyling accounting for three of them and Botha and Klim two apiece. Replacements PJ van Lill, Damien Stevens and Johan Tromp also contributed to the landslide victory.
Namibia coach Phil Davies was understandably pleased with the ruthlessness shown by his side against an out-of-sorts Tunisia.
“The boys played well in the second half with the flowing passing game. I am still in the process of building a competitive team as most of these players are still very young,” he said.
Spirited Simbas open with win
Namibia top the standings with 10 points while Kenya are six points behind in second after beginning their Gold Cup campaign with a hard-fought 28-24 win away to Morocco.
The Simbas took an early lead through Biko Adema’s converted try but Morocco, playing their second match after holding Zimbabwe 23-23 in Harare, hit back with two tries, both unconverted, to lead 10-7 at the interval.
A converted try from Morocco captain Asim Arabat took the home side’s advantage into double figures, but Kenya dug deep and hit back with a two-try salvo from Tony Onyango and Moses Omusala.
Another seven-pointer from Onyango opened up some daylight between the teams and a late try from Morocco was scant consolation for the North Africans who, at one point, were looking good to make it a hat-trick of home wins over the Simbas having beaten them in the two previous encounters in 2005 and 2009.
The victory saw Kenya, ranked 28th, close the gap between themselves and the Netherlands in the World Rugby Rankings to just 0.22 of a point.
Namibia did not get any reward for their victory over Tunisia as they started the game over 11 points better off in the rankings.