Trustco United eye top-four finish

16 June 2017 Author   Michael Uugwanga
With only four games remaining in the Namibia Rugby Premier League (NRPL) this season, former champions, Trustco United, have set their eyes on a top-four finish, which will enable them to take part in the season ending play-offs. 
United have been regular campaigners in the play-offs since winning the title in 2014, but have struggled to find their rhythm this season.
The team, bankrolled by the financial services group, Trustco, currently sits in sixth position in the eight-team league.
They would need to collect maximum points in their remaining games and hope that the two teams above them lose at least two games, if they are to realise their dream of playing in the play-offs.
United are six points behind fourth-placed Kudus, while Walvis Bay Rugby Club are in fifth position on 27 points.
Runaway log leaders and defending champions, UNAM, are sitting pretty on 52 points and FNB Wanderers are in second place on 37 points, while FNB Western Suburbs are in third position on 33 points.
Only teams that finish in the top four will compete in the play-offs to determine the champions.
In the play-offs, the team that finishes top in the league will take on the team that finishes fourth, while the second placed team will battle it out against the third placed team.
The two winning teams will then square up in the final, which will be played on 27 July at the Hage Geingob Stadium.
Speaking to the Windhoek Observer this week, Trustco United coach, Jood Opperman, said the absence of the team’s regular players have proved costly this season, although he still believes they have a chance to sneak into the play-offs.
“We are just trying to get into the top four at the end of the season and take it from there, although it is going to be tough. We are not thinking of the title,” Opperman said.
“The problem this season is that we have lost many of the experienced players due to work commitments and retirement. All I have are mostly kids and they are not motivated to play unlike in the years gone by. I am building for the future.”
Opperman also bemoaned having to coach the backline and the forwards due to a lack of funds to pay the coaches who would have wanted to take up the positions.
United’s remaining matches are against Suburbs on Saturday, 17 June, UNAM on 24 June before they take on Kudus on 1 July. They finish off the campaign against Rehoboth Rugby Club on 8 July.
Last season, Wanderers, who finished top on the log in the league lost to UNAM in the final for the second-year running.
Namibia Rugby Premier League Log
Team  Games  Points
UNAM  4 52
Wanderers  4 37
Suburbs  4 33
Kudus  4 28
Walvis Bay  4 27
United  4 22
Rehoboth  4 17
Falcon  4 4


The Windhoek Observer is an English-language weekly newspaper, published in Namibia by Paragon Investment Holding. It is the country's oldest and largest circulating weekly.

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