WINDHOEK – Spain’s national rugby team arrived in Namibia over the weekend with one thing in mind — to win the Windhoek Lager Tri-Nations Rugby tournament. They start with a clash against Zimbabwe’s Sables tonight.
Report by Namibiansport
The match starts at 6pm at the national rugby stadium. They take on Namibia on Saturday afternoon at the same venue.
The team put in its first training session at the Wanderers field on Monday morning under the guidance of their New Zealand coach Bryce Bevin, who was only appointed national coach about three months ago. Bevin said they would be going all out to win the trophy.
“This is the platform where we are going to begin our road to the Rugby World Cup in England in 2015. This is our first time together, so it’s incredibly important that we win these two matches,” he said.
“We’re coming to a different environment and the experience is going to be excellent for us later on. But having said that, I don’t want to leave here with two defeats — we must win and that’s the most important thing,” he added.
Bevin said there was not much difference between the three participating teams, Namibia, Zimbabwe and Spain.
“Namibia and Zimbabwe are quite close to us in the world rankings. Namibia is ranked 22 and Zimbabwe 29, while we are 20, so there is not much of a difference. These three teams are very equal,” he said.
Namibia beat Zimbabwe 37-33 in the opening match of the tournament on Saturday and Bevin said both teams had good qualities.
“The teams showed two different styles of play. Obviously the Zimbabweans have a wonderful Sevens profile as well, and they play in a fantastic, dynamic way, while the Namibians are very strong upfront and they play a more controlled, structured game. But they also have the ability to play wide and play hard and fast. They are two teams with different profiles, so we will try and bring a plan for each game and play it according to the team and to the conditions,” he said.
One of Zimbabwe’s key players is Daniel Hondo.
Spain have only qualified for one Rugby World Cup in 1999, but their Sevens team has been more successful on the IRB Sevens circuit. Bryce said the challenge now was to get their 15-member team up to the same level.