Total Rugby : Germany step closer to RWC
The IRB's Total Rugby show reported from the weekend's RWC qualifying match between Netherlands and Germany.
Rugby World Cup qualifying continued in Europe at the weekend with Germany beating the Netherlands 17-7, earning the right to face Russia for a place in the first round of the global repechage play-off.
Russia competed at RWC 2011 in New Zealand and will start that match as favourite, although Germany will be buoyed by this latest success: “We have two weeks to prepare for Russia so we’ll have to get together on Monday and work hard and give it our best. I believe if the guys use the chances they create and they give it 100% then we can give it a go,” Germany coach Kobus Potgieter told Total Rugby.
For the Netherlands, the dream of Rugby World Cup qualifying is over for another four years but they can look forward with optimism: “We’re very proud of the guys,” said head coach, Alex Chang. They’re the top of 1B, the pool that we’re going to, and we got a little bit bullied today. If we work on not being bullied about, and play with the speed and the skill that we do, then I think we’ve got a pretty bright future ahead of us.”
Germany: The Olympic Dream
As a powerhouse Olympic nation, Germany has also seen a rise in the popularity of Rugby Sevens since the sport was voted into the Olympics back in 2009.
With the qualifying process beginning later this year in the form of the both men's and women's Series, and regional qualifying taking place next year, Germany’s squads are embracing the new opportunities available to them.
“Sometimes I talk with people and say that rugby is now an Olympic sport and they say: ‘Oh, i didn’t know that’,” said Dana Kleine-Grefe of German’s women’s national team. “The message of Rugby Sevens is beginning to spread through word of mouth. People are talking about it and are getting to know it through the internet so it’s quickly gaining popularity.”
“That Olympic dream is one of the main factors that motivates us. It gets us out of bed every morning to attend training twice a day, regardless of whether we are studying or working. People know that we have a chance and everyone wants to give it everything to take this chance,” said men’s player Robert Hittel.
Also on Total Rugby this week:
- London Sevens & men's player of the year
- Peter Stringer & James O'Connor
- Argentina's championship final
- Women's Sevens player of the year
- Asian Five Nations.