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Win-hungry Tonga will take Namibia seriously

Tuesday 29 September 2015 | Published in Regional


EXETER – Namibia’s Welsh coach Phil Davies has demanded “belief, effort and courage” from his players as they seek their first ever Rugby World Cup victory in Tuesday’s Pool C match against Tonga at Sandy Park in Exeter today.

Captain Jacques Burger said their 58-14 defeat against New Zealand on Thursday gave them the confidence and belief that they could take on and defeat their Pool C opponents from the Pacific Islands.

“It remains our goal to win –it’s not impossible,” Burger said. “We know how tough Tonga are as a rugby side. We want to win. Not to compete, but to win. It will 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 are a really dangerous side. They’ve got a very physical way of playing. What we lack in skills, or speed and power, we have to make up in desire.”

Tonga’s head coach Mana Otai has named Tonga’s most experienced side in their Rugby World Cup history. He has also named two captains.

“Namibia showed what they could do against the All Blacks and have certainly given us something to think about,” Otai said. “We will treat them with the upmost respect. In a one-off World Cup game anyone can front up. But we are desperate for a win and are treating every game as if it’s our last.”

But Tonga are without their talisman Nili Latu. The flanker, who would have won his 42nd cap against Namibia, a record for Tonga, has a hamstring injury. He hopes to be fit for the game against Argentina in Leicester on Sunday.