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Move aside Uruguay and Japan, all hail Namibia. Ignore the final score, this was the guttiest performance in the World Cup of underdogs.
For 185 glorious seconds Namibia led New Zealand. With five minutes remaining in the first half, the world champions were only leading by a point with scrum half Damian Stevens kicking three penalties for Namibia. The All Blacks, the all-conquering demi-gods, were rattled, frequently forced to scramble in defence and made to look all too mortal by a squad of farmers, accountants and just seven professional players.
How they were sweating in that first half when Nepo Lauala was sin-binned when his swinging arm made contact with the head of Lesley Klim who was practically crawling on the floor. A yellow was the correct decision but it could easily have been red. Fellow prop Ofa Tuungafasi joined him in the sin-bin in the second half for another swinging arm tackle.
For the first half hour, any Japanese newcomer to the Tokyo Stadium would have struggled to differentiate the team that have never won a World Cup game versus the back-to-back champions. Captain Johan Deysel punched holes in the New Zealand defensive line time and time again while wing Klim covered a mountain of ground in defence and attack. Yet the clear man of the match was hooker Torsten Van Jaarsveld who terrorised the All Blacks at the breakdown.
Of course, New Zealand
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