Pic: Jan Perlich
The German 7s team has won the European Championships at the second tournament of the Rugby Europe Grand Prix Series (GPS) in Poland. Germany, coached by former Blitzbok Vuyo Zangqa won the final tournament stayed unbeaten throughout the weekend in Lodsz and consequently secured the overall victory in the two-legged European series.
In addition, the team also booked the ticket for the Hong Kong Sevens in April next year, another chance to secure a valuable place in the World Sevens Series. The Wolfpack will also be the guest nation for the two Europe-staged World Series tournaments in Paris and London next year.
In the final, Germany beat Spain 28:14 in convincing fashion. Earlier they beat top-favorites France and Ireland in the knock-out stage. In both matches, the Germans had to work extremely hard to get away with a win.
Assistant coach Clemens v. Grumbkow, said afterward, “that this was a crazy tournament, as the team, apart from the final, never managed to show their best performance, however towards the end of the day, things worked out well. The success is a wonderful end to the season, following the disappointing Olympic qualification in France.”
The final was by far the best performance for the team during the tournament. Spain started strong into the game with an early lead, but the Wolfpack took control shortly after. Bastian Himmer scored the first try, converted by Phil Szczesny. Just before the halftime a strong Ben Ellermann extended the lead with a powerful run. Another Szczesny-conversion lead to a 14:7 advantage.
Pic: Jan Perlich
In the second half, Germany remained the dominant team. The solid defense offered the Spanish side hardly any opportunities to breakthrough. Niklas Koch scored the third try after a smart dummy-pass. Although shortly after Spain scored their second try, it was Tim Lichtenberg who sealed the victory with a fourth try.
Earlier, the Wolfpack beat rivals Ireland 17:7 in the semi-finals, with two tries by Tim Lichtenberg and one by Phil Szczesny. In the quarter-finals, Germany faced the strong French side, which won the first leg of the series in Moscow. France was the much better team at the beginning of the match and took a 7:19 lead into the half-time break.
However, in the second half, Germany managed to turn the game completely, with tries by Bastian Himmer as well as Tim Biniak and John Dawe. Biniak and Dawe represented the Bamboos a week before at their Cup win in Avon.
Earlier this year, the DRV became an official players exchange partner of 7 Bamboos RFC, allowing players from Germany to compete for the Bamboos. In the first season of the partnership, the Bamboos welcomed nine different athletes from the Wolfpack.
Final standings GPS in Lodz (POL):
1. Germany (20 Points), 2. Spain (18), 3. Italy (16), 4. Ireland (14), 5. France (12), 6. Wales (10), 7. Portugal (8), 8. Georgia (6), 9. Russia (4), 10. England (3), 11. Poland (2), 12. Romania (1)
Final Standings Grand Prix Series 2019:
1. Germany (34 Points), 2. France (32), 3. Ireland (32), 4. Spain (28), 5. Wales (22), 6. Italy (22), 7. England (19), 8. Portugal (16), 9. Georgia (9), 10. Russia (8), 11. Poland (4), 12. Romania (2)