Germany have won the first men’s tournament of the inaugural HSBC World Rugby Sevens Challenger Series in Viña del Mar, Chile, after beating Hong Kong 10-0 in a hard-fought final at the Estadio Sausalito.
The 16 competing teams will now move on to Montevideo, Uruguay, where they will play at the Estadio Charrúa on 22-23 February in the second round of the men’s series.
As winners in Chile, Germany lead the standings with 22 points, followed by Hong Kong in second on 19 points with Japan another two points further back in third.
— World Rugby Sevens (@WorldRugby7s) February 17, 2020
“We came to South America with the goal of winning the title and the Challenger Series,” said Germany captain Carlos Soteras Merz. “Our ultimate goal is to qualify for the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series 2021.
“I am very proud of the team, their huge commitment and I hope we can repeat the same performance next week in Uruguay.”
In a match where points were at a premium, Bastian Himmer’s try was the only difference between the sides at half-time.
If there was any tiredness it didn’t show as the tackles and the commitment of each player continued after the break. Despite Hong Kong’s best efforts, though, they could not find a way over the line and instead it was Germany who scored what proved to be the final points of the match, Tim Lichtenberg bursting through the narrowest of gaps to double their lead with five minutes left to play.
Hong Kong tried everything they could to find a response but Germany controlled possession well and were able to see the match through and secure victory.
The HSBC World Rugby Sevens Challenger Series is a new and exciting competition designed to boost sevens’ growth across the globe, focusing on the development of the next generation of sevens stars via emerging sevens nations.
The winner of this Challenger Series will earn promotion to the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series 2021 which currently features 10 men’s and eight women’s tournaments.
The next men’s event will take place in Montevideo, Uruguay on 22-23 February before the recently announced women’s competition is held in Stellenbosch, South Africa, on 28-29 March.