Rugby World Cup
Johnny Redelinghuys ends Namibia career with last kick of their World Cup
Nic Atkin
October 11, 2015
Namibia powerless to resist Argentina

This Rugby World Cup has produced plenty of memorable moments but few will warm the heart as much as the unique send-off afforded to Johnny Redelinghuys, who got to live out every prop's dream at the Leicester City Stadium on Sunday.

Redelinghuys walked out side-by-side with Argentina's Martin Landajo ahead of kick-off, with both men honoured for reaching the milestone of 50 caps. But while Landajo will pull on the blue and white shirt of the Pumas again, this was to be Redelinghuys' final match.

The nine tries that Argentina ran in looked like dampening the occasion for Redelinghuys, but Namibia refused to give in, even when down to 14 men for the final minutes. A gutsy, resilient performance was duly rewarded with a late try when the ball was stolen from a maul and Eugene Jantjies went over.

Theuns Kotze had been on kicking duties, successfully converting Namibia's first two tries, but there was only one man this one was going to.

Johnny Redelinghuys of Namibia is carried off the pitch after winning his 50th cap
Johnny Redelinghuys of Namibia is carried off the pitch after winning his 50th cap© Matt Lewis - World Rugby/World Rugby via Getty Images

Kitschoff: We learned a lot

"Yeah, it was a great honour from my team-mates, doing that for me," Redelinghuys told EPSN. "I love them to death for that."

Even the massed Pumas supporters, who had swelled the 30,198 attendance, willed the ball to go over. It wasn't to be; Redelinghuys' attempt from the left truly was a forward's kick, and it hit the padding around the post as it fell short.

The arms went up to his head but were soon wrapped around his team-mates, who embraced their retiring legend as the full-time whistle was blown. Redelinghuys was then carried off on their shoulders down the tunnel to applause from all those remaining in the stadium.

Johnny Redelinghuys leads Namibia off the pitch
Johnny Redelinghuys leads Namibia off the pitch© Matt Lewis - World Rugby/World Rugby via Getty Images

But what is next for the 31-year-old? He is now looking forward to focusing on matters closer to home.

"I'm the owner of a steel construction company back in Namibia so I'm going to attend to the business now and to the family," he added. "I owe it to them."

Head coach Phil Davies also paid tribute to his retiring star.

"It's an amazing achievement for Johnny," Davies said. "The boys have been on a journey the last four years and the country are exceptionally proud of the players. It was a celebration at the end."

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

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