RWC #48: Australia beat Namibia 142-0 in 2003

World Cup hosts rack up a tournament record winning margin at the Adelaide Oval

Australia beat Namibia 142-0 in the pool stages of the 2003 World Cup, a record winning margin. Photograph: Getty

Australia beat Namibia 142-0 in the pool stages of the 2003 World Cup, a record winning margin. Photograph: Getty

 

Ah, poor old Namibia. Veterans of four World Cups but without a win in 15 attempts, the Welwitschias are very much the tournament’s whipping boys.

Namibia first joined the party as Africa’s second representative in 1999, where they were soundly beaten by Fiji and Canada but less so by France.

Hopes of securing a first World Cup victory down under four years later were quickly trashed, as the minnows conceded 310 and scored just 28 points during their four Pool A defeats.

Among them was a 64-7 loss to Ireland, against whom Namibia would get their best ever World Cup result - a 32-17 defeat - in France four years later.

But the daddy of all their defeats came at the hands of eventual finalists and tournament hosts Australia, who smashed records as they pummelled the Namibians 142-0 at the Adelaide Oval.

Falling just short of the All Blacks record World Cup points tally, 145 against Japan in 1995, the Wallabies were utterly ruthless as they ran in 22 tries.

Among the scorers are a litany of Australian backs who should have an asterix next to their World Cup records - five of Chris Latham’s 11 World Cup tries came in this game, while Stirling Mortlock scored three of his five.

With the game being played at the Adelaide Oval and Australia racking up such a huge score obvious comparisons were made between this and a cricket match.

This is perhaps fitting given a member of Namibia’s squad, Rudie van Vuuren, had taken five wickets for his country against England in the Cricket World Cup earlier that year.

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