Namibia aiming for first RWC win

2015-09-28 19:45
Jacques Burger (Gallo Images)

Exeter - Namibia will seek to buck a losing streak of 16 World Cup matches when they take on Tonga in Exeter on Tuesday, according to captain Jacques Burger.

The southern Africans' latest loss, going down 58-14 to New Zealand in their opener, was tinged with positivity, and Burger is confident a victory will come.

"If we start slow against them, Tonga will punish us," the Saracens flanker warned ahead of the game at Exeter's Sandy Park.

"It remains our goal to win - it's not impossible. We know how tough Tonga are as a rugby side.

"We want to win. Not to compete, but to win. It'll be tough, but we want to do everything in our power to do that. We want to win a match at the World Cup and that's still our aim."

Tonga went down to a surprise 17-10 defeat by Georgia in their opening match and Burger said the Namibians will be ready for a backlash.

"You can expect a tough game tomorrow," he said.

"We will throw everything at them - it will be a tough match.

"Tonga are a really dangerous side. They've got a very physical way of playing. When we do kick we have to make a good chase. We have to chase really hard. What we lack in skills, or speed and power, we have to make up in desire."

While Tonga mathematically remain in the hunt for second place in Pool C, they have still to play the All Blacks and fellow heavyweights Argentina, who finish up their pool campaign against Namibia.

So Tongan thoughts might be more fixed on finishing third in the pool to seal automatic qualification for the 2019 World Cup.

"The way I look at it, our toughest opponent will be our next opponent," is Tonga coach Mana Otai's philosophy.

"We are treating Namibia with the utmost respect. We're desperate for the win.

"We'll treat every game as our last - I'm confident in the boys, they will do well," said Otai, who will be without injured captain and flanker Nili Latu for the game in Devon.

Veteran hooker Aleki Lutui said the team had felt let down by their capitulation to Georgia.

"It hurt inside," the Gloucester player said.

"Now we must move on and Tuesday night's game against Namibia is a must-win.

"We were given a big lesson last weekend, but now we hope to put smiles back on a few faces."

Lutui added: "Namibia can certainly play, as we saw the other night against the All Blacks.

"We're expected to win, but it wouldn't be wise to underestimate them. We'll have to be spot on on Tuesday, but we'll be really fired up for the game."

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