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Tuesday, April 19, 2016

JAA's Fall Short To Namibia

Press Release

USA captain Hanco Germishuys’ hat-trick was in vain as Namibia snatched victory in a riotous game of running rugby that was settled deep into stoppage time.

The Junior All-Americans looked on course to repeat their narrow Trophy win over the Namibians in 2009 until replacement Stiaan van der Merwe levelled the scores with his side’s sixth try and Cliven Loubser kicked the all-important conversion.

Only once before (Zimbabwe in 2012) has a team scored so many points and lost an U20 Trophy fixture, although that game was played under the five points for a try ruling not the six-point system being trialled in the World Rugby U20 Trophy.

The lead changed hands three times in a breathless opening 25 minutes as USA scored three tries to Namibia’s two to lead 22-16.

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The score remained that way until half-time but it wasn’t long before the points came thick and fast again after the break, Germishuys grabbing his second within a minute of the restart.

Namibia worked some space for winger Unomasa Kavita to score another but the blue-shirted Americans came up with a quick response as Germishuys completed his hat-trick to make the scoreline 34-24 with 54 minutes gone.

Back came Namibia again with a try under the posts for second-row Johan Luttig, which Loubser converted.

The match continued to sway one way and then the other, with a close-range try for USA flanker Mahon Al-Jiboori cancelled out by Gino Wilson, who finished well in the corner after a long period of pressure inside the USA 22.

Even so, the Americans still led by four and they improved that advantage further when replacement kicker Roddy Giles knocked over a penalty from 30 metres after Namibia strayed offside at the breakdown.

The USA were penalised twice for going off their feet as they attempted to run the clock down and a quick tap provided the launchpad for Namibia to play their get out of jail card. Luttig made good yards with a run inside the USA 22 before the ball was quickly recycled and swung right. Allie Emamdien found the onrushing van der Merwe with a well-timed pass and there was no stopping him from 20 metres out, Loubser adding the simplest of conversions from in front of the posts to seal a dramatic victory.

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