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Namibia kept their faint hopes alive of qualifying for next year’s Rugby World Cup after beating Zimbabwe 24-20 in Madagascar on Wednesday.

After trailing 17-10 at halftime, Namibia made a g comeback to score three tries in total, while flyhalf Theuns Kotze added two conversions and a penalty.

Namibia however failed to get a bonus point for four or more tries, and their chances of winning the Four Nations competition are now rather remote.

Kenya, who beat Madagascar 34-0 in the second match on Wednesday, lead the log on 10 points, followed by Zimbabwe on six and Namibia on five points, while Madagascar are on zero points.

Namibia will now have to beat Madagascar by a big margin in their final match on Sunday and hope that Zimbabwe beat Kenya by a small score, without any bonus points, if they hope to qualify for the 2015 Rugby World Cup.

Namibia and Zimbabwe weighed up evenly from the start, in a closely contested match that saw the lead changing several times.

Namibia took the lead through an early penalty by flyhalf Theuns Kotze, but Zimbabwe struck back through a fine try by centre and captain Daniel Hondo, which was converted by flyhalf Guy Cronje.

Namibia immediately regained the lead when they were awarded a penalty try after Zimbabwe’s forwards impeded a rolling maul and with Kotze adding the conversion they went 10-7 ahead.

Zimbabwe however drew level through a Cronje penalty and took a 17-10 lead just before halftime when fullback Tangai Nemadire broke through for a try converted by Cronje.

Zimbabwe stretched their lead to 20-10 after another Cronje penalty early in the second half, but Namibia showed great determination to make a fine comeback.

Flanker Renaldo Bothma crashed over for a converted try after a fine run by substitute DG Wiese on 60 minutes, and with Kotze adding the conversion, they had closed the gap to 20-17.

Namibia kept the pressure up and flanker Rohan Kitshoff crashed over after a great rolling maul on 66 minutes for a try converted by Kotze, as Namibia took a 24-20 lead.

Zimbabwe pushed hard in the final stages, and Namibia’s cause was not helped as captain PJ van lill was sin binned for 10 minutes for a foul, but Namibia’s defence stood firm and they held out for the victory.

The winner of the competition will now only be determined after the final matches on Sunday, when Namibia take on Madagascar and Zimbabwe take on Kenya.

Source : The Namibian