Uruguay's second-half show denies Namibia a famous #RWC win
MATCH REPORT: Namibia missed a chance to break their losing streak after Uruguay produced a brave comeback World Cup win at OL Stadium in Lyon.
Allister Coetzee’s men led 20-12 at the break on Thursday.
However, two yellow cards and a red card in the second half handed Uruguay the opportunity to prevail 36-26.
The defeat sees Namibia extend their losing streak to the 26th straight defeat across seven editions.
The build-up to this match had not been good for the Africans.
Their three previous matches had been chastening experiences, shipping 219 points and scoring only 11.
That included a bruising 0-96 defeat to hosts France.
Uruguay by contrast had earned plaudits and new fans for their enterprising displays against France and Italy, staying well in contention in both matches deep into the second half, before losing 10-27 and 17-38 respectively.
Namibia were also without eight players, mostly through injury.
But captain Johan Deysel was suspended for the head clash that broke France captain Antoine Dupont’s cheekbone, while backrow forward Johan Retief was ruled out after he developed an infection from being bitten by a spider.
But despite the injuries Namibia got off to a dream start inside the first minute.
Uruguay spilt the ball in midfield and right wing Gerswin Mouton scooped it up before streaking away to score under the posts.
Ten minutes later, quick hands from Namibia sent JC Greyling scampering down the left wing to dot down in the corner, with flyhalf Tiaan Swanepoel converting both.
Uruguay soon hit back as Amaya scored his first try, blasting through Namibia scrumhalf Damian Stevens.
Felipe Etcheverry missed the conversion and Swanepoel punished him with a penalty soon after.
Both teams looked willing to run the ball but Uruguay had a clear advantage in the set-piece and used it well to drive over hooker German Kessler from a line-out maul.
Etcheverry kicked the conversion from wide on the left but Swanepoel landed another penalty to give Namibia a 20-12 half-time lead.
The second half was a different story as Namibia’s tackling technique came under the microscope.
Uruguay’s set-piece dominance made the difference as Namibia’s tighthead Johan Coetzee was shown a yellow card for collapsing a scrum.
Los Teros made the 14 men pay as Amaya acrobatically touched down one-handed in the corner.
The turnaround was complete when a lucky ricochet fell for scrumhalf Santiago Arata, who weaved past two defenders to score a bonus point fourth try.
Etcheverry converted both and Uruguay led 26-23.
Two cards in quick succession all but ended Namibia’s hopes of earning that long-sought-after first win.
First Tjiuee Uanivi was pinged for a shoulder to the head and then Desiderius Sethie was sent-off for a head-on-head collision.
Uruguay turned the screw and replacement flyhalf Felipe Berchesi picked out right-wing Bautista Basso with a chip kick to score in the corner.
There was one sour note for Uruguay, though, as replacement backrower Eric Dosantos saw yellow late on for a high tackle.
Man of the match: The award goes to Baltazar Amaya. The Uruguay fullback was the sparked in his team’s attack. He scored two tries and help them to a victory.
Tries: Mouton, Greyling;
Cons: Swanepoel 2
Pens: Swanepoel 4
Tries: Amaya 2, Kessler, Arata, Basso
Cons: Etcheverry 3, Berchesi
Yellow cards: Johan Coetzee (Namibia, 48 – Collapsing the scrum); Tjiuee Uanivi (Namibia, 60 – high tackle, shoulder charge); Eric Dosantos (Urugay, 75 – high tackle)
Red card: Desiderius Sethie (Namibia, 62 – high tackle, head-on-head collision)
Namibia: 15 Cliven Loubser; 14 Gerswin Mouton, 13 Alcino Izaacs, 12 Danco Burger, 11 JC Greyling; 10 Tiaan Swanepoel, 9 Damian Stevens; 8 Richard Hardwick, 7 Tjiuee Uanivi (captain), 6 Prince Gaoseb; 5 Tiaan De Klerk, 4 Adriaan Ludick; 3 Johan ‘Aranos’ Coetzee, 2 Torsten Van Jaarsveld, 1 Jason Benade
Replacements: 16 Louis van der Westhuizen, 17 Desiderius Sethie, 18 Haitembu Shikufa, 19 PJ Van Lill, 20 Max Katjijeko, 21 Adriaan Booysen, 22 Jacques Theron, 23 Andre van der Bergh
Uruguay: 15 Baltazar Amaya, 14 Bautista Basso, 13 Felipe Arcos Perez, 12 Andres Vilaseca (captain), 11 Nicolas Freitas; 10 Felipe Etcheverry, 9 Santiago Arata; 8 Carlos Deus, 7 Santiago Civetta, 6 Manuel Ardao; 5 Manuel Leindekar, 4 Felipe Aliaga; 3 Diego Arbelo, 2 German Kessler, 1 Mateo Sanguinetti
Replacements: 16 Guillermo Pujadas, 17 Facundo Gattas, 18 Reinaldo Piussi, 19 Juan Manuel Rodríguez, 20 Eric Dosantos, 21 Agustin Ormaechea, 22 Felipe Berchesi, 23 Juan Manuel Alonso
Referee: Jaco Peyper (South Africa)
Assistant Referees: Ben O’Keeffe (New Zealand) & Craig Evans (Wales)
TMO: Marius Jonker (South Africa)
*Additional reporting: AFP