The Namibian senior rugby team, the Windhoek Draught Welwitschias, will have another chance this weekend to redeem itself after Saturday’s 52-36 drubbing at the hands of Uruguay in their first test match played at the Hage Geingob Stadium.
The two countries will clash once again at the same venue this Saturday, 25 November, in the second and last test match.
Namibia’s defeat in the first test has been attributed to the team’s slow start in the first half, which saw them trail the visitors 31-17 at half time. They need to remove that flaw and come out fighting right from the start, to beat Uruguay in Saturday’s match.
Speaking to the Windhoek Observer earlier this week, Namibian scrumhalf/winger Damien Stevens said he is hoping for a much better start tomorrow in front of the home fans that left the stadium before the final whistle last week.
Namibia will welcome back lock/flanker Tjiuee Uanivi, who plays club rugby for London Scottish, after he was ruled out in the first test match due to injuries.
“We started off very slowly in the first half and we did not know what else to do. In the next match, we need to start better because in the second half we did very well and I think we could have won the match at the end, but Uruguay had other ideas. We have a good spirit and we want to give our fans what they deserve and that is a win and a good performance on the day,” Stevens said.
Former Welwitschias coach Johan Diergaardt reckons that Namibia’s forwards were the weak point against Uruguay.
He said he is hoping for a more aggressive and direct display from the team in Saturday’s game.
“The game was fine considering the inexperienced players we currently have, but if we want to win we need to be more direct with our forwards. We need to be more aggressive, but there is nothing we can do if they are the only forwards available since most of our experienced forwards are not there,” Diergaardt said.
Diergaardt, who guided University of Namibia (UNAM) rugby club to its third Namibia Rugby Premier League (NRPL) title this year, also believes that Namibia can only win the second test match if they start very well in the first half.
“We just need to be more involved in the game especially in the first half. The problem is that these players had been only together for five days last week when they started with their training session and their coach Phil Davies only arrived in the middle of the week. Now I think the players have started to know each other because they will have a full week together. I believe we can win,” Diergaardt said.