Last week the Namibia national rugby team (Welwistchias) made the country proud by qualifying for the fifth successive Rugby World Cup after thumping hosts Madagascar 89-10.
Unlike in previous years Welwistchias did not have it easy in the qualifying process losing their first game to Kenya 29-22 a result which made their qualification difficult. They however brought themselves into contention after beating Zimbabwe 24-20 in their second game. Their task was even made easier on Sunday when Zimbabwe beat Kenya 28-10, setting Namibia a target of beating Madagascar by 53 points to qualify. They passed that target by halftime, leading 63-0 at the break and going on to secure their berth at next year’s finals in England. Namibia will now go into a World Cup Pool featuring New Zealand, Argentina, Tonga and Georgia.
That’s all until next year when the 2015 Rugby World Cup starts but till then let’s examine what we learned…
Even with few resources … Welwitschias will never disappoint
Just before the team left for Madagascar, The Villager run a story that Namibia Rugby Union (NRU) will borrow money for the qualifiers. But even with the little resources that they have they still managed to get past the gruelling qualifiers to advance. This must serve as a wakeup call to the Government and private sector to support rugby more.
Brave Warriors can learn a thing or two
Unlike Welwitschias, Brave Warriors will show signs of improvement, they will raise your hopes and just when you give them your full backing then they destroy your hopes… That’s just the opposite of Welwitschias, in fact when they lost their opening game many of us thought it was over but just when our hopes were low then they do us proud again…You go Welwitschias!
Zimbabwe and Kenya are catching up fast
It was reported that Kenya invested N$1m just in preparation of the tournament, this is compared to N$1.5m that NRU gets each yearly although they did not qualify, one could see the improvement within the Kenyan team. The team used the money to participate in the South African’s Vodacom Cup and it worked as they surprised people when they defeated Namibia in the first game.
And just like Kenya, Zimbabwe is on the right track having used to be whipped by Welwitschias they almost rigged a surprise only to lose to Welwitchias by a four point margin (24-20).
Welwitschias need an improvement
Although it was an easy victory in the end, Namibia needs to improve if they are going to have any chance of winning their first game at the World Cup. School boy errors and lack of discipline is just something that the coach needs to work on.
Fans must do more for Welwitchias
Yes when they are playing home the stadium is packed but its only certain Namibians who pack the stadium. Mixed races must be behind the team. And what about the heroes welcome? 50 people who welcomed them at the airport are not enough given the fact that the team qualified for the World Cup. I mean it’s the only national team that qualifies for the World Cup.
Welwitschias continues to make a mockery of the budget
Despite being the best team in the country NRU still gets less money compared to the Namibia Football Association (NFA) who gets around N$10m each year. Did the Welwitchias’ players even get bonuses after qualifying for the World Cup? …I wonder!