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Five top Challenger Series teams through to quarters

By Ian Cameron
Kenya on day one of the World Rugby HSBC Sevens Challenger at Dante Stadium on 18 May, 2024 in Munich, Germany. Photo credit: Mike Lee - KLC fotos for World Rugby

The top five teams in the men’s Challenger Series standings secured quarter-final spots on Sunday at Dantestadion in Munich. Heavyweights Kenya delighted their vocal supporters with three victories in Pool C.

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The African side defeated Japan, Portugal and Chile to finish top of their pool in the Bavarian capital. Their raucous supporters were one of the highlights of the day, with a huge Kenyan crowd out in force to support their team.

Hosts Germany and Hong Kong China are in a battle for the crucial fourth place in the standings. Both teams were equal on points entering Munich. The team that places higher between the pair this weekend will secure a spot at the HSBC SVNS play-off in Madrid.

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Germany’s late 24-21 defeat to series toppers Uruguay in the final game of the day could yet prove pivotal as they enter Day 2 on Sunday. The hosts had to settle for second place in Pool A.

Earlier wins over Georgia and Papua New Guinea ensured Germany’s safe passage to the quarter-finals. They will face Kenya in what promises to be an exciting match.

Hong Kong China continued their strong form from Montevideo. They beat Uganda, Tonga and Mexico to finish top of Pool B. Their positive points difference is now +108.

“We are qualified for the quarterfinals. It’s the objective we had today, so we’re very happy that we achieved our goal today,” Uruguay’s James McCubbin told RugbyPass. “We trained very, very hard these six weeks since the last tournament in Montevideo. And watching the results of our training, it’s quite nice, and we are finding our game.

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“Our objective is to achieve first place, so we know the pressure, we are familiar with it, we like it, so we embrace it. Well, that’s our objective [getting back on the HSBC SVNS circuit]. Last year it was very tough to descend, and play again in the Challenger, but it’s our opportunity to go back to the series, and we are working every day for that goal, so we have that aim and we are doing everything to be there.”

The Challenger Series was introduced in February 2020 to develop rugby sevens globally.

It provides a promotion pathway to the top level of sevens rugby – the HSBC SVNS circuit – which has grown significantly over the past two decades.

The Challenger Series began with an event in Dubai in January, followed by a second round in Montevideo in March.

Fans can watch the action from Munich live on rugbypass.tv.

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