Preview: New Zealand v Namibia
WORLD CUP POOL MATCH: The All Blacks have played Namibia at a World Cup before – in 2015 at the Olympic Stadium. Then New Zealand won 58-14.
There are five All Blacks and eight Namibians from that match who will be meeting in this clash in Tokyo.
The All Blacks are Ben Smith, who was on the bench then, Sam Cane, Sam Whitelock, Codie Taylor and TJ Perenara, who was then in the starting XV. Ben Smith and Taylor scored tries.
The Namibians are Johan Tromp, Johan Deysel, who scored Namibia’s only try in that match, Janco Venter, Tjiuee Uanivi, PJ Van Lill, Torsten van Jaarsveld, and two players who are on the bench this time – Eugene Jantjies, and Aranos Coetzee.
This time, it may not be the strongest New Zealand side available but it certainly is a seriously strong side, surely far too strong for the enthusiastic Namibians.
Every single one of the Namibians will be looking forward to playing against the mighty All Blacks and every single one of them will give more than just his best. And one day, he will sit at the braai fire and tell his awestruck grandchildren of the day he played against the All Blacks at the World Cup and that in Tokyo nogal.
For every Namibian it will be a match that matters.
The same is likely to be true of the All Blacks, for it is part of their DNA that every match matters.
The All Blacks will win and do it with style.
The sides have each played two matches.
New Zealand won two; Namibia lost two.
New Zealand beat South Africa’s 23-13.
Namibia lost to South Africa 57-3.
Players to watch:
For New Zealand: Brodie Retallick. The great lock is back after a lay-off of 10 weeks because of injury. Then there is Jordie Barrett, playing in his big brother’s position of flyhalf. Clearly he is the ultimate utility back, capable of playing for his country in any position from 10 to 15. Interestingly Barrett’s bench back-up is TJ Perenara, normally a scrumhalf.
For Namibia: Johan Deysel is back to captain Namibia and wouldn’t he be the happiest man in Windhoek if he could do again what he did in 2015 – score a try against the All Blacks? For veteran hooker Torsten van Jaarsveld, this will be a great occasion and he will not give Codie Taylor an easy time on Sunday.
Head to Head: There is simply no All Black individual or unit that will not be able to get the better of opposing Namibians.
Prediction: The Springboks won by 54 points but they scored just one try in the last 20 minutes. It is a common belief that the Springboks slacken off when the match is won but the All Blacks keep going flat out to the end. Against Canada, New Zealand won 63-0 but scored no points in the last 20 minutes. But, without a shadow of doubt, the All Blacks will beat Namibia by a hefty score – 40 points or more. And yet the Namibians will come away from the match proud.
Namibia: 15 Johan Tromp, 14 Lesley Klim, 13 Justin Newman, 12 Johan Deysel (captain), 11 JC Greyling, 10 Helarius Axasman Kisting, 9 Damian Stevens, 8 Janco Venter, 7 Thomasau Forbes, 6 Prince Gaoseb, 5 Tjiuee Uanivi, 4 PJ Van Lill, 3 AJ De Klerk, 2 Torsten van Jaarsveld, 1 Andre Rademeyer.
Replacements: 16 Obert Nortjé, 17 Nelius Theron, 18 Aranos Coetzee, 19 Johan Retief, 20 Adriaan Booysen, 21 Eugene Jantjies, 22 Darryl De La Harpe, 23 Janry du Toit.
New Zealand: 15 Ben Smith, 14 Sevu Reece, 13 Jack Goodhue, 12 Anton Lienert-Brown, 11 George Bridge, 10 Jordie Barrett, 9 Aaron Smith, 8 Ardie Savea, 7 Sam Cane, 6 Shannon Frizell, 5 Sam Whitelock (captain), 4 Brodie Retallick, 3 Nepo Laulala, 2 Codie Taylor, 1 Joe Moody.
Replacements: 16 Dane Coles, 17 Ofa Tu’ungafasi, 18 Angus Ta’avao, 19 Patrick Tuipulotu, 20 Matt Todd, 21 Brad Weber, 22 TJ Perenara, 23 Rieko Ioane.
Date: Sunday, October 6
Kick-off: 13.45 (04.45 GMT, 06.45 Namibia time; 17.45 New Zealand time)
Venue: Tokyo Stadium, Tokyo; capacity 50 000
Expected weather conditions: Some showers with a high of 23°C, dropping to 18°C and 70% humidity
Referee: Pascal Gaüzère (France)
Assistant referees: Luke Pearce (England), Shuhei Kubo (Japan)
TMO: Rowan Kitt (England)