Italy has opened their Rugby World Cup campaign with a record-breaking win over Namibia, the best result against the African giants in years.
This was Namibia‘s 12th test in four years. This was Italy‘s 12th test in 10 months and they fought against an opponent that made them sweat for every point.
Namibia hooker Torsten van Jaarsveld’s yellow card gave Italy the break it needed to score two tries in the first 15 minutes. After the second try, Namibia scored their only try of the game with a beautiful team effort.
Another lineout press set up Italy‘s third converted try for 24-8, and the backline finally clicked for exciting wings Ange Capuozzo and Montanna Ioane to combine for a sweeping try from deep inside their half.
Namibia‘s line speed and defense frustrated Italy‘s backline.
“If you’d given me 50 points before the game I would have grabbed them,” Italy coach Kieran Crowley said. “But if you keep it in perspective, we turned over about 22 balls and you can’t afford to do that. But it was pretty hot out there and the boys are pretty gassed.”
“We’ll enjoy tonight because we just won a test match at the World Cup.”
“We were put under the pump in the mauls and the scrums,” Namibia captain Johan Deysel said. “They have heaps of experience. It’s a great game to learn from. I’m proud of my boys, we fought until the end.”