Namibia started the next level of their preparations for the Rugby World Cup in September with a hard fought 22-14 win over Tunisia in the city of Nabeul in Tunisia on Saturday. The match played in front of about 1 000 spectators was also the start of their defence of the Africa Cup they won in Madagascar last year. Looking to gain momentum in their preparations for their match against the All Blacks on the 24th of September, the Namibians started well when their France-based flyhalf Theuns Kotzê sent another player plying his trade in France, JP Van Lill to score under the posts just four minutes into the game.
The visitors from Southern Africa then looked set for a big score when New Zealand-based David Philander intercepted to score the Welwitchias’ second try just five minutes later. Strange officiating by the French referee did not help Namibia’s cause but the men from Windhoek also contributed to their own problems losing at least five of their own line-outs and giving away possession at crucial times. Tunisia scored from a line-out drive and added a penalty to trail by 8 points to 12 at the break.
In the second half Namibia squandered at least three try-scoring opportunities while the Tunisians recorded points through two penalties on the rare occasions they ventured into Namibia’s half. At one stage Tunisia were leading 14-12 before a penalty by Kotze and Philander’s second try of the match clinched victory for Namibia who will face New Zealand, Tonga, Georgia and Argentina in the pool stages at Rugby World Cup 2015.
Namibia now travel to Romania for the Nations Cup where they will face the Argentine Jaguars, Romania and Spain.