Namibia produced a strong performance as they went down 17-13 to Canada in Colwyn Bay on Friday.
The Namibians, ranked 22nd in the world, pushed the higher-ranked Canadians all the way but were unable to find a try at the death that would've provided a memorable victory.
An upset had looked unlikely when they trailed by 11 points with 25 minutes to go. Having lost a key attacking weapon in Chrysander Botha to a broken leg during the first half, the Namibians were struggling to make their ascendancy in the scrums count.
They were rewarded for their forward domination as captain Jacques Burger went over with five minutes remaining following a well-executed lineout drive, setting up a possible upset.
It was not to be, but Burger, playing his first Test match for Namibia since the 2011 World Cup, was pleased with his side's performance.
'I am proud of the boys, they showed a lot of heart. We didn’t have a lot of time together, we made a lot of mistakes especially our discipline but there’s a lot to take from this match and we can really look forward to a positive future,' said Burger, who will not travel to France with the team on Saturday as he will be returning to Saracens.
Namibia will face the French Barbarians in Toulon next Friday.
Canada – Try: Nanyak Dala. Penalties: Gordon McRorie (4).
Namibia – Try: Jacques Burger. Conversion: Theuns Kotzé. Penalties: Kotzé (2).
Canada – 15 DTH van der Merwe, 14 Jeff Hassler, 13 Conor Trainor, 12 Ciaran Hearn, 11 Sean Duke, 10 Connor Braid, 9 Gordon McRorie, 8 John Moonlight, 7 Nanyak Dala, 6 Kyle Gilmour, 5 Jebb Sinclair, 4 Tyler Hotson, 3 Jason Marshall, 2 Ray Barkwill, 1 Hubert Buydens (c).
Subs: 16 Doug Wooldridge, 17 Ryan Hamilton, 18 Jake Ilnicki, 19 Brett Buekeboom, 20 Aaron Carpenter, 21 Sean White, 22 Patrick Parfrey, 23 Jordan Wilson-Ross.
Namibia – 15 Chrysander Botha, 14 Danie Dames, 13 Darryl de la Harpe, 12 Johan Deysel, 11 David Philander, 10 Theuns Kotzé, 9 Eneill Buitendag, 8 PJ van Lill, 7 Jacques Burger (c), 6 Tinus du Plessis, 5 Tjiuee Uanive, 4 Morné Blom, 3 André Schlechter, 2 Torsten van Jaarsveld, 1 Johnnie Redelinghuys.
Subs: 16 Rathony Becker, 17 Franklin Bertholini, 18 Casper Viviers, 19 Stefan Neustädt, 20 Rohan Kitshoff, 21 Ryan de la Harpe, 22 Shawn Kaizemi, 23 Johann Tromp.
Photo: Gabriel Bouys/Getty Images