Namibia secured their place at a seventh successive Rugby World Cup by beating Kenya 36-0 in the final of the Rugby Africa Cup 2022 in Aix-en-Provence on Sunday.
The Welwitschias have been in fine form in the south of France, winning their quarter-final against Burkina Faso 71-5 before a 34-19 defeat of Zimbabwe in the last four.
They continued that run in the showpiece match, proving too strong for Kenya as they ran out 36-0 winners at Stade Maurice-David.
The first half was one-sided, with Namibia putting on an incredible amount of pressure to lead 15-0 at the break, despite the strong support of the Kenyan fans in the stands.
Despite a serious chance to score a first try shortly after the hour mark – Collins Injera’s foot pushed into touch inches from the line – Namibia extended their lead with successive penalties.
Against a Kenyan side that never gave up, Namibia pushed forward with two tries in quick succession in the last two minutes of the match through Wian Conradie and captain Johan Deysel, just under the posts.
Victory ensures that Namibia will return to France next year for Rugby World Cup 2023, where they will take their place in Pool A as Africa 1.
Namibia will kick off their RWC 2023 campaign against Italy in Saint-Étienne on 9 September, before playing three-time Webb Ellis Cup winners New Zealand in Toulouse six days later.
Next up for Namibia is a match against hosts France in Marseille on 21 September. They will bring their Pool A campaign to a close against Uruguay in Lyon on 27 September.
Kenya’s RWC 2023 dream is not over, as the Rugby Africa Cup 2022 runners-up will now take part in the Final Qualification Tournament in November.
In terms of the placings games in the Rugby Africa Cup 2022, Algeria, who had lost to Kenya in the last four earlier in the week, managed to secure third place.
They battled hard to defeat Zimbabwe and it certainly gives Algeria something to build on going forwards given that the national team is still pretty new in that country.
Uganda took fifth place after an even closer match with Ivory Coast before coming out on top 18-17.
And Senegal finished in seventh place as they and Burkina Faso shared 74 points in a cracking 80 minutes before the former came out on top 44-30.