WELWITCHIAS DO A NATION PROUD!
“All eyes, and the lenses of our photographer, were on the Olympic Stadium where the current World Cup holders were taking on the lowest-ranked side in the 2015 tournament! . . . and AfriCat Okonjima were there to cheer Jacques Burger and his team on, dressed as proud African Mammals!
Zebra, Elephant, Leopard and the Lion, were all there shouting their hearts out! The TV cameras caught their crazy roars, trumpets , growls and snorts live, and broadcast Team Okonjima|AfriCat across international TV Screens, not once, but twice – cheering like only Africans can!
“The Welwitchia Warriors gained millions of fans and did the nation proud with their tiger-like efforts against the World Champions, the All Blacks, despite their loss in their opening match by 58 – 14.
The London spectators – who also included AfriCat UK’s Carey and Janet Widdows and Leigh Stafford – were clearly supporting Namibia and at times booed the French referee for decisions which they hoped would go the Namibian way.
The Namibian fighting spirit kept the difference between them and the All Blacks not to sky-rocket.
The biggest roar of the night was for the try Johann Deysel who burst over the All Black try line through one of the best backline defences in the world of rugby to score.”
As Patron of Namibian Rugby for a few years now, I have followed the weals and woes of our Welwitschias with a great deal of personal interest.
The fact that we have managed to field a team for five consecutive World Cup events since 1999 fills me with a particular sense of national pride.
What makes this achievement especially more remarkable is the fact that Namibia has one of the smallest Ruby Unions in the world with a small pool of players to choose from. The Welwitschias have become a team to reckon with.
We are further humbled that we received an invite for a training match from the South African Springboks, the strongest team on the African soil and arguably one of the very best in the world.
This training camp would allow the Springboks to select their final team members for the SA squad for the World Cup.
This is a tremendous honour indeed!
Looking through the pool the Welwitschias have been drawn in, I must say that it will not be an easy task to wring victory from some of the competitors in the group – especially the fearsome All Blacks of New Zealand.
Despite what seems like a high mountain to climb I still have full confidence in our team’s ability to do us proud.
With some of the best preparations any of our World Cup squads have ever had in the past, I am convinced that the Welwitschias may, once again, pull a rabbit out of a hat and surprise us all.
Whatever the outcome, our 31 men will proceed on the journey to England to hold Namibia’s name high and represent us well with dignity and pride.
On my own behalf, that of my wife and the nation as a whole, I wish the Welwitschias a very successful tour of duty at the Rugby World Cup 2015. The nation is behind you and wish you every success.”