NSSR U19 premier league off to flying start

Schools rugby
Windhoek Affies needed the final conversion to go over, before y clinched the narrowest of wins against Tsumeb Gymnasium.
Brian Munango
The Standard Bank Namibia secondary schools rugby (NSSR) under-19 premier league kicked off with all eight teams in action last weekend.
In the match at Affies Park, livestreamed by NTV on DStv channel 285 and GoTv channel 25, Autohaus Windhoek Afrikaans Private school (WAP) scored the narrowest of wins by 24-23 against an enterprising Compack Tsumeb Gymnasium.
Tsumeb Gymnasium pounced early when centre Jamie Viljoen converted a penalty after just one minute of play. Viljoen was again in action when intercepting the ball close to the half-line, sending away speedy fullback Jean-Paul Strauss to go score the first try.
The ever-resilient WAP got their first points on the board when fullback Noelle Loubser converted a penalty. However Strauss, with an explosive individual break, cut through the WAP defence before playing the ball to outside centre Pedro Adriano who scored the second try for Tsumeb. With a failed conversion by Viljoen, Tsumeb were leading 13-3 with 20 minutes played.
Captain Gianluca Savoldelli and Loubser scored two tries as WAP took the lead 17-13, after Loubser failed at both conversion attempts.
Before the halftime whistle Strauss gave Tsumeb the lead by breaking through WAP defence from the halfway line again and beating defenders with two dummy passes to score the try himself this time. Viljoen failed to add the extra two points and the northern visitors led 18-17 at the break.
Viljoen scored a try 48 minutes into the game, but failed to convert. It looked settled as Tsumeb were leading 23-17 with less than five minues to the final whistle, until WAP outside centre Juan Peter Rix picked up a loose ball and displayed some skill to score a try. Wing Luca Micillo then sealed the win with his all-important conversion (24-23).
In a post-match interview, Tsumeb captain, lock Woutie Niehaus, said: “When we saw the fixture we knew it was going to be a tough game. We played well and we enjoyed the game and now the ice is broken. We will go home and work more on our structure and be better prepared for the next game.”
Gianluca Savoldelli, the WAP loosehead prop and captain: “It is great for us to start the season with a win. For some of the players this is their matric year and the last time we will be wearing these jerseys, so we want to go out there and fully enjoy the games.”

Wins for WHS, Gymnasium
Joint defending champions King Price Curro Windhoek Gymnasium and Samsung Windhoek High School also got off to a good start after winning their games comfortably.
Windhoek Gymnasium played at their Lions Den field against PSG Walvis Bay Private School (WBPS) and won 34-7. With tries by wing Pieter-Stephann Stassen, centre Janco Bredenhann (2), captain and nr. 8 Ruan Agenbag and a penalty try, the Lions laid down a big challenge, while flyhalf Waldré Kotze landed two conversions and a penalty.
• Windhoek High School celebrated a successful trip to the coast as they played against PSG Pro-Ed Academy and won 29-6 after holding a narrow 10-6 lead at the break.
The hosts from Swakopmund, despite their limited numbers of potential players, had won their inter-high against Walvis Bay PS and were considered a potential threat to the Kudu Bulls.
Under the captaincy of flank McHenry Kambatuka, who credited his team’s fitness and determination to give full effort until the final whistle, WHS took full league points from their opening match.
Despite WHS losing tighthead prop Joshua Bester (a Namibia U20 selection in April this year) when sent off by referee Oscar Lambert for an apparent punch, the Kudu Bulls were first to score in the second half with a try by one of their replacement backs.
Pro-Ed’s captain, the centre Tayton Saunders, admitted that a despondency had crept in with some of his players after the first WHS try by flank Pieter-Jan Strydom just before halftime, but that they intend working hard at making a proper comeback in the U19 Super League, where last year’s team reached the semi-final and finished fourth.
• In a tough battle in the south, Elnatan claimed a closely-fought 23-18 victory against the OK Bere of Moria Private School from Outjo.
• Watch Pro-Ed v WHS full match: https://q.my.na/KI9T
• Watch WAP v Tsumeb Gymnasium full match: https://q.my.na/G1HT
• Fixtures, results and log standings of the Standard Bank NSSR U19 premier league at www.rugby.my.na/