The national senior rugby team “Welwitschias” is still to realise their dream of winning a game at the Rugby World Cup after going down 8-52 on Saturday at the Geoffroy-Guichard Stadium in Saint-Étienne, France.
Namibia is in Group A alongside host France, New Zealand, Italy, and Paraguay at the ongoing France 2023 Rugby World Cup in that country.
In their first match of the campaign, the Welwitschias only managed to score a penalty and try through Tiaan Swanepoel and Gerswin Mouton respectively.
Meanwhile, the Italians ran in seven tries, through Lorenzo Cannone, Paolo Garbisi, Dino Lamb, Ange Capuozzo, Hame Faiva, Manuel Zuliani, and Paolo Odogwu.
All the tries were converted by Tommaso Allan who also scored a penalty for his team earlier in the match.
The first half of the match saw the Namibian boys giving it their all as the Namibian side opened the scoring through a penalty, but the Italians bounced back with a penalty and two tries before the Welwitschias also scored their only try of the match for a halftime score of 8-17.
The first half saw the Namibians conceding six penalties compared to their opponent who only conceded two in that half.
In the second half, Italy came out firing on all cylinders as they ran in five tries in that half, but the Namibian team failed to penetrate the Italian defence that was determined to show their strength and dominance.
The fast-paced Italian team continued with their dominance as the Namibians began to tire and ran in more tries to win themselves a bonus point and go top of the group with five points, while the home team France is second with four points.
With a defeat in the opening match, Namibia is bottom of the log with zero points while New Zealand who lost their opening match of the competition 27-13 against France on Friday are fourth also with zero points.
The only team that did not play a game thus far in that group is Paraguay who are third on the log standing with zero points also.
Namibia’s next match at the competition will be on Friday, 15 September against New Zealand at 21h00.
Source: The Namibian Press Agency