Mon 12 Nov 2018 | 08:07

Germany a step closer to World Cup 2019 qualification

Germany a step closer to World Cup 2019 qualification
Mon 12 Nov 2018 | 08:07
Germany a step closer to World Cup 2019 qualification
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WORLD CUP COUNTDOWN: Germany took a step closer to the 2019 Rugby World Cup by starting with a win in Sunday’s first-round of matches in the fortnight-long repechage tournament in Marseille.

The winner of the four-team tournament – involving Canada, Kenya, Germany and Hong Kong – will go into Pool B at next year’s Rugby World Cup alongside New Zealand, South Africa, Namibia and Italy.

Wing DTH van der Merwe scored a hat-trick of tries as Canada powered past Kenya with a thumping 65-19 win, then Germany, the lowest ranked of the four teams, squeezed past Hong Kong, the highest, for a hard-fought 26-9 victory.

Germany and Canada will square off next Saturday after Hong Kong play Kenya in the second round of matches.

“That was a huge effort – a real fight,” said Germany captain, lock Matthias Poppmeier.

“It’s all about getting ready to face Canada now.”

After Canada, coached by former Wales captain Kingsley Jones, ran Kenya ragged, Germany, under former British and Irish Lions defence coach Mike Ford, had to dig deep to beat Hong Kong.

China-born wing Salom Yiu, 30, was a constant threat on the right wing for Hong Kong and twice broke through the German defence, but his team could not finish the advantage.

Germany hooker Kurt Haupt, who was at Worcester Warriors last season, burst through tired tackles with 14 minutes left to claim the decisive try, when Hong Kong forward Kane Boucat was in the sin bin, to give the Germans a 19-9 lead.

Replacement forward Matthias Schoesser was then driven over by the German pack to claim a late second converted try to seal the win.

Both Hong Kong flyhalf Matthew Rosslee and Germany’s No.10 Raynor Parkinson, both South African born, kept the scoreboard ticking over with three penalties each before the Germans pulled away.

Agence France-Presse

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