Captain boost for Welwitschias

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Timo Shihepo

Namibia’s national rugby team has received a boost ahead of the New Zealand match in the form of returning captain, Johan Deysel, from injury.

Deysel, who missed the first match against Italy, made a return to the team with a second half appearance in the 57 – 3 defeat to neighbours, South Africa.

Deysel, who had missed the first game because of the shoulder injury, came on as second half substitute in the 49th minute to give a boost to fast crumbling hopes of Welwitschias.

Welwitschias lost their two opening matches at the on-going 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan after going down to Italy 47-22, and 57-3 to South Africa in the second game.

The team now has to beat the strongest team in Pool B, New Zealand on Saturday, to retain any chances of progressing to the next round. Welwitschias are also targeting their first ever win against Canada in the last group match on 13 October and the return of captain, Deysel, could be the boost the country needs to finally master that win.

Living up to his reputation, Deysel made an instant impact off the bench against South Africa.

In the short spell, the centre was on the pitch he won an important turnover and made three of four tackles, including one perfectly timed thumping hit on Springbok Elton Jantjies when the fly-half looked certain to score.

"I was just trying to lift up the boys because they had a tough first half. I wanted to give them some extra energy.

"I talked a lot to lift the spirits because (South Africa) are one of the best teams in the world,” he said

Deysel is relishing the opportunity to play against the All Blacks, having scored a try in Namibia's 58-14 defeat at Rugby World Cup 2015.

"It was great to see him come back," head coach Phil Davies told Rugbyworldcup.com. "That's a bit of a trademark tackle from him. He likes a big hit. (Stand-in captain) Tjiuee (Uanivi) has done a brilliant job. That's why I chose him as vice-captain. Now Johan coming back is a big boost for us.

"We're pretty healthy at the moment. We only have a couple of bangs in the 31. We'll regroup and prepare to play New Zealand with a reasonably fit squad, which is exciting."

Deysel said: "Our main goal is to have a good game against Canada.

"Against Italy we had some good phases, good moments. Against South Africa we'll have learned a lot too. When we get to Canada hopefully we'll have the tools in the box (to get the win)."

 

 

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