Holtzhausen leads Wanderers to 7s title

Fitness gave winners the edge
Wanderers beat Rehoboth 12-5 in the premier final.
Andrew Poolman
The FNB Wanderers coaching staff was praised by friend and foe as their first and second teams appeared to have the edge in fitness, on their way to winning both the premier and reserve divisions at Saturday’s seven-a-side tournament.

The Namibia Rugby Union (NRU) is expected to name a squad later this week as acting national sevens coach David Philander used the occasion as trials to get sevens activities up and running for the year.

Perennial under-performers, Namibia will be under pressure to put out a competitive outfit to take on the established African powerhouses such as Kenya, Zimbabwe and Uganda at the continental championship and Olympic qualifier later this year.

Moreover, the players currently included in the Windhoek Draught Welwitschias 15-a-side squad - preparing to start their provincial Mzansi Challenge campaign underway this coming weekend against Border Bulldogs - were not released to play in the club sevens. This decision will hopefully allow the selected players to put their focus on a solid period of preparation.

Impressive performance

On Saturday, Wanderers’ first team started off with a 22-22 draw against Rehoboth, the team they would eventually narrowly beat 12-5 in the cup final.

In between, Wanderers also stormed to wins against United (35-7) and probably the most impressive performance by any team on the day, clobbering Reho Falcon 52-0 in the semi-final.

The Wanderers captain and fly-half DJ Holtzhausen was undoubtedly the star individual playmaker of the tournament. With quick feet on attack and a no-nonsense attitude in defence, the former Moria prodigy’s irrepressible talent is unlikely to remain unrewarded for long this year.

Alongside his younger brother Niel at centre, the fearless pair put on a spectacular show in every match.

In the final, scrum-half Armand Kotze scored two tries for Wanderers, of which Holtzhausen converted one.

Surprise package

It has to be mentioned that pool A only contained three teams. In pool B, Reho Falcon was probably the surprise package in the premier division, recovering from a 24-7 opening loss to Unam to beat Kudus 29-24 and Western Suburbs 21-7 to make the semi-final, where Wanderers simply had way more energy and determination.

Rehoboth Rugby Club opened their tournament with a 36-15 win against United before the 22-22 draw against Wanderers and eliminating Unam in a close semi-final by 14-12.

Wanderers took home both winners’ cheques for N$10 000 and N$5 000 respectively, as their second team beat Western Suburbs II 24-12 in the reserve final.


Allgemeine Zeitung 2023-06-07

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