PLYMOUTH, 2 Oct - Namibia flanker Rohan Kitshoff, who will return to his job as a maintenance engineer when his side's Rugby World Cup is over, says the lowest-ranked side in the competition will "keep on fighting" for that elusive first win in the finals.

Namibia's players, who won friends and plaudits after their 35-21 Pool C defeat by Tonga on Tuesday, are planning to watch their next opponents Georgia play New Zealand on television on Friday night to look for weaknesses in their next opponents.

With the two sides due to meet in Exeter on Wednesday, Georgia coach Milton Haig is focusing on the game against Namibia by keeping some of his best players in the stands for the match against the All Blacks.

Georgia want to ensure they finish third in Pool C and therefore qualify automatically for the next World Cup in Japan.

"You could say it is a sign of respect that Georgia are targeting us. Maybe they just don't want to lose. Their selection policy will give them a shot at qualifying for the next World Cup," Kitshoff said at Namibia's training base in Plymouth. 

National pride

"That first win is eluding us and we were disappointed to lose to the Tongans. But the spirit is good in the camp and we'll keep fighting. We won't stop believing. Mentally we are still sharp and we can take a lot of positives from how we have performed so far.

"Back home we are getting messages every day from people saying how proud they are of us and Namibian rugby shirts are selling out in Windhoek (Namibia's capital). We would like that win to give people more to shout about."

Kitshoff has given up playing rugby professionally after spells with South African team the Bulls and in France with Bordeaux.

"For me, going back to working and playing rugby for pleasure has given me a new respect for guys that combine the two. It isn't always easy," he said.

Working on the scrum

Pieter Rossouw, the former Springbok wing who is now backs coach for Namibia, is convinced his side can rise to the challenge against a Georgian team famed for their scrummaging, an Achilles' heel for Namibia at Sandy Park this week.

"Georgia will be different to Namibia and we are preparing differently for them. But I definitely think they can be beaten," Rossouw said.

"It will be tough as their set-piece is very strong, but if we can play to our full potential we can get the result. We'll fix the things that didn't go well for us against Tonga, including the scrum."

 

RMS im/kd