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Germany qualify for Madrid play-offs in dramatic fashion

By Ian Cameron
German players celebrates after beating Hong Kong China in the semi-finals.

Germany’s men’s Sevens team have made the final of the Challenger Series in Munich but more importantly have booked a place in the HSBC SVNS promotional play-offs in Madrid later this summer.

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The hosts of the tournament will now play favourites Uruguay, who beat Chile to win the overall Challenger Series with a game to spare, in the final, after both sides won their respective semi-finals.

Germany clinched the 21-14 win against Hong Kong China with a thrilling 40-metre solo try from the excellent Makonnen Amekuedi.

His efforts together with tries from Chris Umeh and Niklas Koch were enough to fend off a brace of tries from giant Hong Kong China winger Max Denmark.

6’4 Denmark was unstoppable over the two days of the Challenger in Munich, but his efforts proved to be in vain against the home town heroes in the semi-final.

“It’s all we’ve been working for these last few months, since September. Everybody worked hard, it was a team effort and we deserved it,” match-winner Amekuedi told RugbyPass pitchside in Munich after the win over Hong Kong China. A moment of brilliance was ultimately all that separated the two sides.

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“Nik Koch picked up the ball and took out the first man, and then I had my one-on-one, and that’s what wingers want to have, that’s the perfect opportunity for wingers to score tries and I think I did a good job.”

Germany celebrate qualification
The Germany team and fans celebrate qualification for the Madrid SVNS 2024

Uruguay have the upper hand on the Challenger Series, leading Germany 2-to-1 in head-to-heads. While making a Challenger Series final in front of their home fans is sweet, making the play-offs in Madrid was the ultimate goal.

“That’s the goal for everybody here, it means the world for everybody and that’s our goal,” said Amekuedi. “I don’t just play for myself or my team, I play for my country, in my country, and everybody here who supports us, I play for them as well, like all of us do. It’s an amazing feeling.”

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