LONDON, 25 Sept – Johan Deysel celebrated the most prestigious try of his rugby career by sharing a beer with the mighty All Blacks players.
The Namibia centre had the Olympic Park crowd on their feet after his touchdown (pictured above) in the 54-14 defeat by world champions New Zealand.
Sportingly, the Welwitschias were then invited into their rivals' changing room to make it even more of a night to remember for Deysel, who scored in front of his father, Johan senior.
“We all went there and had a chat with the guys – such a lot of humble guys, the New Zealanders,” said Deysel,who will celebrate his 24th birthday on Saturday.
The centre admitted there was a split-second of doubt when he could not see the try line on his second-half run.
"I just went for it," Deysel added at a media conference on Friday morning. “At first I couldn’t see the line, I had to turn and see the line. When I put down the ball I knew it was a try.”
Despite the support of 50,000 spectators, the Namibia hero could not hear any noise as he scored.
“But the other time when we kicked for touch and went for the try we could hear the crowd supporting us,” he said.
The significance of the try could well have a lasting impact for Namibia, who have come to Rugby World Cup 2015 determined to win a match in the tournament for the first time. They are the lowest-ranked team in the tournament, at 20th, and New Zealand had been rated 80 points better than Namibia by bookmakers.
“It meant a lot to see that we were able to score against the number one team in the world,” said Deysel. “It gave us confidence and it’ll help us in the games that we still have to play.”
The beer with the All Blacks will be the last for Namibia until Tuesday, when they face Tonga at Sandy Park in Exeter. Deysel can expect the traditional cake and congratulations from his teammates for his birthday but Thursday’s try may well be the best present of all.