Windhoek — The Namibian rugby team, the Welwitschias, as the national senior rugby team is affectionately known among its ardent supporters, got their 2015 World Cup campaign off to a flying start.
The rusty Namibians opened their assault in the 2012 Africa Cup Group B with a narrow 20-18 win over a stubborn Senegalese side at the 40 000-seater Mahamasina Stadium in Antananarivo, Madagascar yesterday.
Namibia will have to clear the last hurdle in the four-team mini league qualifying round when they play hosts Madagascar in the final on Sunday after the ranking match between the losing teams.
In the opening match, relative newcomers Madagascar's Makis came from behind to trounce Morocco 35-28. The group leaders will go up to the upper group, while the last placed team will go down to the lower group.
Now, if practically all the Group A teams (Kenya, Uganda, Tunisia, Zimbabwe), B (Senegal, Madagascar, Namibia, Morocco) and C (Côte d'Ivoire, Zambia, Botswana, Cameroun, Mauritius and Nigeria) are more or less of equal strength, with the exception of Botswana and Nigeria that are a tune below, one would place four times World Cup participants Namibia and Morocco a fraction higher.
The only reason why both Namibia and Morocco are not seeded in Group A this year is because the two leading rugby nations did not take part in the Nairobi tournament last year, leading them to be relegated to Group