With the Namibian rugby team’s 30-10 defeat to Argentina in the Nation’s Cup, the pressure is definitely mounting for the team to perform ahead of the World Cup.
We did very well to beat Tunisia in the Africa Cup on 6 Saturday, but considering we have been drawn into a group with Argentina, New Zealand, Georgia and Tonga, we would need to up the ante.
I look back on the Vodacom where the Welwitschias performed so abysmally. I can understand that not only were the team without their head coach, Danie Vermeulen, who delegated tasks to his assistant, Henry Kemp, but the team also used a number of newbies, as most of the regulars were at their respective international clubs. However, I wonder if not more should have been done to get the first teamers involved.
As much as it was great to expose some newer players to stiffer competition, I think it would have been more beneficial to get the seniors as much preparation as they could possibly get for the World Cup.
Facing off against some of South Africa’s biggest clubs would have, I believe, certainly gone a long way in keeping those players that will be involved in World Cup on their toes.
Now, I don’t pretend to be a fitness coach or have any experience in that field, but one would think the more time the team that will be playing in the World Cup spent playing together prior to that, the better. I say this because I am confident we can achieve the aim our national coach.
Coach Vermeulen has expressed how it is his desire for the Namibian team to win at least one game at the World Cup. Historically speaking, we have more experience than our group counterparts, Georgia but they have won a game at the World Cup before. I don’t know why we can’t use our experience to our advantage and target them for our first World Cup victory. Tonga’s Sipi Tau war dance might be a little too intimidating for our boys.
Some might have loftier ambitions and question Vermeulen’s goals to aim for, at the least, one victory, but I think this is not defeatist talk but realistic planning. I just wish the team was more prepared.
Looking at the Welwtischia’s itinerary over the next few months, only the two friendlies against Russia really perk my interest regarding competition at the highest level.
Organising competition to face our humble team is understandably a tough call, as Namibia Rugby Union Sybrand de Beer revealed that Uruguay had also been invited to play the Welwitschias in Windhoek but turned down the invitation.
My only prayer is that finding more top class competition will not come back to bite us in the end. All in all, all the best to the boys and may they bring us that long awaited victory. Until the next one, cheers.