Romania produced a master-class of controlled forward power to subdue a gallant Namibian side into submission at the Arcul de Triumf Stadium against Romania earlier this week.
Namibia took a short-lived lead through a penalty by fly-half Shawn Kaizemi, but this ended following a scrum near the Namibia line some eight minutes later. The Namibian scrum was no match for the Romanian eight and conceded a pushover try, which was signed off by Romanian captain and number 8 Mihai Macovei. Scrum-half, Florin Surugiu, who had an imperious match behind his dominant pack, went over for the second try on the left. Two blistering counter attacks from Fercu set up try number three and four for wings Florin Ionita and Ionut Botezatu respectively. After Macovei had crossed for his second try, in almost identical fashion to his first, South African-born flanker Randall Morrison celebrated his first cap for his adopted country with a try, the sixth of the evening, the second South African player after fly-half Judy Rose to make his debut for Romania. Finally, kicking prodigy Florin Vlaicu added another nine points to the final scoreline, with a try and two conversions, not a bad return for his 15 minutes on the pitch.
On the eve of the match against Romania, Welwitschias coach Danie Vermeulen explained why the Nations Cup is a stepping stone to their ultimate aim of winning a first ever Rugby World Cup match at England 2015. “Winning a match in the 2015 Rugby World Cup is our main objective. Many of our players went on playing with this dream in mind, tournament after tournament. The time has come to deliver. Generally in our sport players retire on their own terms. I have not had that opportunity. For us, a win in the 2015 Rugby World Cup is mission accomplished. Anything else is a bonus.” “After the Nations Cup we go back to Windhoek for the two Russian tests, after which we play Kenya and Zimbabwe in the Africa Cup. The final act of our Rugby World Cup build-up will be a joint camp with the Springboks at the end of August, which will be very useful,” he said. Added Vermeulen, “we hope to convince them that Namibia is a good option and our guaranteed World Cup slot should help that process. At the same time they will always have to earn their place. We have a tight committed squad here and nobody will just walk in.”