Yellow cards give Spain the edge

Andrew Poolman
Namibia’s rugby tour to Europe got off to an unsteady start when they were beaten 34-15 by Spain in Madrid on Saturday, after trailing 12-15 at halftime.

The Spaniards – ranked significantly higher at nr. 16 while Namibia is placed 24th on last week’s world rankings – scored five tries against the two by the visitors.

Coach Allister Coetzee’s men were hampered by a total of four yellow cards in the match, which made their task significantly harder.

Wian Conradie (flank), who otherwise had another outstanding match, was sent to the bin for a tip tackle after just six minutes. Conradie saw yellow again with just seconds of the match remaining when referee Paul Williams pinned him for collapsing a maul.

In between, prop Casper Viviers spent ten minutes on the sideline for unlawfully contesting a ball on the ground, while fly-half Cliven Loubser was also yellow-carded for a deliberate knockdown when Spain was on the attack.

The Namibians were 12-0 down before scoring the next two tries: one by Cliven Loubser after a solo run, which the fullback converted himself, and another by Johan Retief dotting down after a rolling maul.

With one match remaining on tour and injury concerns over Janco Venter (flank), Ruan Ludick (lock) and Divan Rossouw (left wing) while centre Danco Burger has been confirmed to be on his way home with a knee injury.

Namibia will conclude their tour with a test against Canada in Amsterdam this coming Saturday.