Fiji and Namibia set for World Cup re-match
September 5, 2011
Waisale Serevi spreads the ball wide during Fiji's win over Namibia in 1999 © Getty Images
Rugby World Cup Pool D gets underway in Rotorua on Saturday with a meeting of two sides who have only faced each once before, Fiji and Namibia.
Coincidentally, the two sides' only previous encounter also came in the game's showpiece event and it was also a pool opener. The two sides met during the 1999 tournament in Beziers in what proved a terribly one-sided contest, the men from the south seas running out comfortable 67-18 winners.
The Fijians racked up nine tries in total, with Fero Lasagavibau bagging a brace and Alfi Mocelutu Vuivau, Simon Raiwalui, Jacob Rauluni, Viliame Satala, Greg Smith, Set Tawake Naivaluwaqa and Manu Tikomaimakogai all scoring one apiece.
Fly-half Waisale Serevi converted all but one of the touchdowns and also landed a penalty for good measure as he accumulated 22 points, which remains the highest number of points scored by a Fijian in a World Cup match.
Their African opponents managed two tries, through forward duo Mario Jacobs and Heino Senekal, in what was their tournament debut. Fullback Lean van Dyk kicked eight points.
Fiji beat Canada in their next outing but were pipped to top spot by France after a 28-19 defeat in Toulouse. The Polynesians had done enough, though, to qualify for the play-offs but it was there that their interest in the tournament came to an end as they suffered a 45-24 loss to England in their clash at Twickenham.
Namibia, meanwhile, bowed out after subsequent heavy defeats to the Canadians and the French and, despite qualifying for both the 2003 and 2007 tournaments, they are still awaiting their first win.
Fiji v Namibia
All-time record: Played: 1, Fiji won 1, Namibia won 0.
Biggest winning margin: Fij: 49, 67-18 at Stade Mediterranee, 1999; Nam: N/A.
Highest score: Fij: 67 (67-18) at Stade Mediterranee, 1999; Nam: N/A.
Most tries: Fij: 9 (67-18) at Stade Mediterranee, 1999; Nam: 3 (18-67) at Stade Mediterranee, 1999.
Longest winning sequence: Fij: 1 (1999-present day); Nam: N/A.
Most points (individual): Fij: 22 Waisale Serevi; Nam: 8 Lean van Dyk.
Most tries (individual): Fij: 2 Fero Lasagavibau; Nam: 1 Mario Jacobs, Heino Senekal .
Most points in a Test: Fij: 22 Waisale Serevi (67-18) at Stade Mediterranee, 1999; Nam: 8 Lean van Dyk (18-67) at Stade Mediterranee, 1999.
Previous Rugby World Cup meetings:: Fiji 67-18 Namibia at Stade Mediterranee, 1999.
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