Namibia qualify for 2009 Junior World event
By Eric Odanga
Namibia have qualified for next year's IRB Junior World Rugby Trophy after retaining the CAR Africa Under 19 title in Tunis, Tunisia.
The Namibians were forced to come from behind to edge Zimbabwe 16-13 in Saturday's final, the second year running that they have beaten the same opposition to take the title.
The venue and dates of the 2009 IRB Junior World Rugby Trophy have not yet been announced. In 2008 the Namibians finished fifth at the tournament, losing their first two games against Romania and Chile before rallying to beat the Cook Islands and Korea.
2006 Africa Under 19 champions Zimbabwe provided the toughest of tests in Tunis. They led 5-3 at half time through Zembe Ranga's try but Alock Lezhanne kicked over two penalties for Namibia, Prinsloo Mahco added a drop goal and Ashley Tchombe scored their only try to see them home.
Zimbabwe replied through Kyle Javles' try and Raymond de Dong's penalty but the defending champions held on for victory.
Hosts Tunisia finished third with a comfortable 23-0 win over North African neighbours Morocco, while Kenya rallied from 10-0 down to beat Ivory Coast 17-15 to finish fifth.
Madagascar and Uganda were forced to withdraw shortly before the tournament began but organisers noted that overall the event provided a far greater level of skill and competitiveness than in previous years.
Pools, results & rankings
Pool A: Namibia, Morocco, Kenya
Pool B: Zimbabwe, Tunisia, Ivory Coast.
Kenya 18 Morocco 21
Tunisia 11 Zimbabwe 18
Namibia 15 Morocco 5
Tunisia 15 Ivory Coast 9
Zimbabwe 21 Ivory Coast 0
Kenya 19 Namibia 26
Ranking matches and final
5th/6th: Kenya 17 Ivory Coast 15
3rd/4th: Tunisia 23 Morocco 0
Final: Namibia 16 Zimbabwe 13
6 Ivory Coast