Cape Town - Namibia were plucky throughout, but in the end the gulf in class was too much for them as they fell 47-22 to Italy in their opening 2019 Rugby World Cup fixture in Higashiosaka on Sunday.
The Italians scored 7 tries in the contest to secure a bonus point while Namibia scored 3, and the Springboks would have been watching closely.
With the Boks having lost 23-13 to the All Blacks on Saturday, they now have to win their remaining three Pool C matches to qualify for the quarter-finals and the Italians are the side most capable of causing an upset.
Namibia had started brightest on Sunday, opening the scoring in the 5th minute through scrumhalf Damian Stevens to take an early 7-0 lead.
It did not last long, though, and by half-time the Italians had manufactured a 21-7 lead.
After the break, the weather turned with the World Cup experiencing its first thundershower that saw around 10 minutes of aggressive rain make life difficult for the players.
While Namibia did score a superbly worked backline try through JC Greyling, Italy were far more clinical in all departments and secured the victory comfortably.
The biggest roar of the day, though, came in the final moments when Namibian wing Chad Plato broke through the defensive line to score a stunning individual consolation try.
Namibia will face the Springboks in their next match on Saturday, September 28 while Italy take on Canada on Thursday, September 26.
Namibia 22 (7)
Tries: Damian Stevens, JC Greyling, Chad Plato
Conversion: Cliven Loubser (2)
Italy 47 (21)
Tries: Penalty Try, Tommaso Allan, Tito Tebaldi, Edoardo Padovani, Carlo Canna, Matteo Minozzi
Conversions: Allan (3), Canna (2)
15 Johan Tromp, 14 Chad Plato, 13 Justin Newman, 12 Darryl De La Harpe, 11 JC Greyling, 10 Cliven Loubser, 9 Damian Stevens, 8 Janco Venter, 7 Wian Conradie, 6 Rohan Kitshoff, 5 Tjiuee Uanivi (captain), 4 PJ Van Lill, 3 Johannes Coetzee, 2 Torsten van Jaarsveld, 1 Andre Rademeyer
Substitutes: 16 Louis van der Westhuizen, 17 AJ De Klerk, 18 Nelius Theron, 19 Johan Retief, 20 Max Katjijeko, 21 Eugene Jantjies, 22 Helarius Axasman Kisting, 23 Lesley Klim
15 Jayden Hayward, 14 Mattia Bellini, 13 Tommaso Benvenuti, 12 Luca Morisi, 11 Edoardo Padovani, 10 Tommaso Allan, 9 Tito Tebaldi, 8 Sergio Parisse (captain), 7 Maxime Mbanda, 6 Braam Steyn, 5 Federico Ruzza, 4 Alessandro Zanni, 3 Tiziano Pasquali, 2 Luca Bigi, 1 Nicola Quaglio
Substitutes: 16 Oliviero Fabiani, 17 Simone Ferrari, 18 Marco Riccioni, 19 Dean Budd, 20 Jake Polledri, 21 Guglielmo Palazzani, 22 Carlo Canna, 23 Matteo Minozzi