Boks lie in wait

A resurgent Bok side, under the able tutelage of ‘rugby messiah’ Rassie Erasmus, will represent a massive test for Namibia in the Japan Rugby World Cup.

12 September 2019 | Sports

LIMBA MUPETAMI



Amid the well-wishes and patriotism, Namibia will be aware that they face a mammoth task to contain a much-improved Springbok team, when they do battle at the Japan Rugby World Cup.

Namibia play the Springboks on 28 September.

It will be the second Pool B game for the Boks, after they face the All Blacks in their opening encounter on 21 September. Namibia’s first game is against Italy on 22 September.

Namibia’s only other encounter against the South Africans at the Rugby World Cup was in 2011, when they lost by a whopping 87 points and failed to get on the scoreboard.

This time around, they will be hopping to contain their rampant neighbours, who are the 2019 Rugby Championship champions, after drawing with New Zealand and walloping Australia and Argentina. The Boks, who have a formidable squad, have been tipped by bookmakers and former greats as serious contenders for the title. Namibia, who have not won a match at the World Cup, will be targeting Italy and their last match against Canada for a possible win. Their third match is against defending champions, New Zealand.

Rehoboth Rugby Club coach David Philander said Namibia should try by all means to avoid a heavy defeat when they meet Springboks.

“We have shown what we have what it takes in the previous World Cup (in 2015). All we need to do is to stick to our structure and put everything on the line.

“However, we should not underestimate the South Africans heading into the match, as they are a powerhouse,” Philander said.

The Namibians, who are ranked 23rd in the world, will not have it easy against the Springboks who have won the World Cup twice, in 1995 and 2007, and who are ranked fourth in the world.

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