Namibia coach wary of Simbas threat in Cup tie

By Rodgers Eshitemi: Thursday, August 16th 2018 at 23:58 GMT +3 | Rugby
Kenya Simba's Captain Davis Chenge (with ball) is tackled by Fortunate Chipendo of Zimbabwe Saples during Africa Gold Cup cum 2019 world cup qualifier at RFUEA Stadium Grounds on Saturday, Kenya won 45-36 against Zimbabwe. June 30, 2018. [Jonah Onyango, Standard]

Namibia 15s rugby team coach Phil Davies has warned his players to be ready for a tough match when they host Kenya Simbas in tomorrow’s decisive Africa Gold Cup 2019 Rugby World Cup qualifier in Windhoek.

Though Namibia are three points (20) ahead of the Simbas, the Welshman is fully aware of the task lying ahead of them as they seek to retain the continental title.

With the winner of the mouth-watering clash automatically qualifying for next year’s World Cup finals in Japan, Davies insists the East African side will prove to be a dangerous opponent because of their quality and athleticism.

“We have great respect for Kenya and we are all looking forward to a big challenge come Saturday (tomorrow),” Davis was quoted by Xinhua News Agency.

“We have good speed in our team as well, and it’s not about watching specific players, it’s all about Namibia playing.”

Davies said he will not make many changes from his squad that beat Zimbabwe in their last game, adding that his team is in great shape.

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The tactician believes the perfect weather conditions in Windhoek will favour both teams.

“The pitch will be nice and dry and will favour running rugby. It will be a fantastic occasion and one that African rugby will be proud of,” Davies said.

Having failed to beat the Namibia in their last six visits, Simbas captain Davis Chenge is also prepared for an explosive match.

“I know it will be a tough game because the team that wins tomorrow will book a ticket to the World Cup. We are aware of the challenge, but we are prepared and ready to face them,” Chenge said.

“It is a like a final game for both teams. The boys are in high spirits ready to deliver, but we need to be at our best both in defence and attack.”

The loser between Namibia and Kenya will go to Marseille in France to battle with Hong Kong, Germany and Canada in the decisive repêchage tournament on November 11-23.

In other fixtures tomorrow, Tunisia will host Morocco in a North African derby in Monastir seeking a win to be sure of avoiding relegation as Uganda welcome Zimbabwe to Kampala.

Meanwhile, former Australian rugby league international John Hopoate has been banned from the sport for 10 years over a fight in a minor grade match that he claims was sparked by racist taunts adds AFP reports.

The 44-year-old, the most suspended player ever during his turbulent National Rugby League career, will not be able to play, coach or act in any other league-related capacity.

Five years of the punishment was suspended, meaning from July 2023 he can apply for special clearance to became involved in the sport again.

It came after Hopoate threw a punch and making violent threats towards a Forestville Ferrets player.