By Carlos Kambaekwa
WINDHOEK – Namibia’s Rugby Fifteen “the Welwitschias” got their 2011 World Cup campaign off to a good start despite failing to get a bonus point when the John Williams led team narrowly defeated a stubborn Senegal team by 13 points to 10 in a hard fought encounter in the Senegalese capital, Dakar on Saturday.
The Namibians now have a date with Zimbabwe in a must win Pool- match on the 4th of August in Windhoek later this year.
Victory for the Welwitschias in that match would see them clear the first hurdle towards qualification for the 2011 Rugby World Cup finals in New Zealand and set up a date against the winner in Pool B for the final African qualification berth, while the runner-up will be thrown another lifeline against their European counterparts for the remaining available spot.
After failing to qualify for rugby’s biggest showpiece hosted by South Africa in 1995 at their first attempt – Namibia has been regular customers in the last three editions of the World Cup finals co-hosted by Wales and France in 1999, Australia in 2003 and France last year. The victorious Namibian Rugby Fifteen is expected back in Windhoek on Wednesday.