LYON, France (Reuters) -Namibia’s hopes of a first ever Rugby World Cup win ended in defeat as coach Allister Coetzee bemoaned his side’s discipline in their 36-26 Pool A loss to Uruguay on Wednesday, and said the team needs to start preparing for the next tournament now.
Namibia led 20-12 at halftime, but two yellow cards and a red in the second period sealed their fate as they ran out of gas, and players, against the South Americans.
"Uruguay took control of the game and that is test match rugby. When you concede 12 penalties and three cards, it is very difficult," Coetzee told reporters.
"These are things that cost you and we can’t hide (away) from it if we are not up to it. But I must commend the team for playing until the end. Defensively there were errors in (tackle) technique in being too upright.
"It is quite difficult to swallow but in the end Uruguay deserved to win."
Namibia’s record losing streak at World Cups now stands at 26 since their debut in 1999 as they head home after four games in 19 days, the toughest schedule of any team in the tournament.
Coetzee says unless lessons are learnt and the correct structures are put in place domestically to boost players physically and unearth new talent, history will continue to repeat itself.
"We have got to make sure we build now at the set-piece, give our front rankers a programme where these blokes and the youngsters can develop," he said.
"We are a small country with not a lot of depth so we need a high performance plan to be put in place for these guys. That is the next step after this World Cup.
"We can't start to build once we have qualified, we have to put these things in place next year. We need to blood young players, there needs to be a programme with a timeline."
Coetzee has said all through the tournament that what his team lacks most is conditioning, and that is most brutally exposed among the forwards.
"We need to make sure that their conditioning is up to speed and that players get enough test match experience and caps against tier one nations," he said.
"Otherwise the playing fields will never be level and we will always be at a disadvantage."
(Reporting by Nick Said, editing by Ed Osmond and Toby Davis)