Magnificent 7s – Germany drinks to Oktoberfest rugby boost
Munich, Germany | AFP | Australia hammered Olympic champions Fiji 40-7 to win the inaugural ‘Oktoberfest 7s’ in Munich on Saturday as Germany finished fifth in hosting the country’s first major international rugby tournament.
A young Australian side brushed past the Fijians, who brought 10 development players.
Ben O’Donnell claimed two of Australia’s six tries in the final after South Africa had earlier beaten England 42-7 to claim third.
“It’s a great feeling, this squad has come together really quickly. It started in the camp and you saw it click in the final,” said O’Donnell.
While Australia picked up the trophy, hosts Germany had plenty to cheer about as the squads headed to celebrate at the world-famous Oktoberfest beer festival.
Organisers hope the inaugural tournament will lead to Germany being awarded a leg of the World Sevens Series within the next three years.
Over the two days, 21,000 fans watched the action at the Olympic Stadium, the former home of Bayern Munich.
Uganda beat Chile 17-12 in the 9th place semifinal but finished 10th overall, falling to Spain 33-12 in the 9th place playoff
— DHL Oktoberfest 7s (@Oktoberfest7s) September 30, 2017
– ‘Great crowds’ –
Australia captain James Stannard, 34, hopes the World Series comes to Munich.
“The crowd have been great, they are cheering everything, it’d be fun to bring the World Sevens Series here,” said Stannard, who has played for the Brumbies and Western Force.
“A lot of the teams have sent young, development guys, which is great for building depth.
“It’s good for Germany, they aren’t known as a rugby destination, but I was surprised by the standard — they’re going greats guns.”
Germany lost 26-12 to Simon Amor’s England side in the quarter-finals, having enjoyed a shock win over the English in the group stage.
But the Germans beat Argentina 19-17 in a play-off to finish fifth behind England, South Africa, Australia and Fiji.
After scoring twice in Fiji’s 38-21 semi-final win against South Africa Banuve Tabakaucoro, a converted sprinter and 2015 Pacfic Games 100m and 200m champion, sees the potential in Munich.
“This stadium has a 70,000 capacity, if we fill it up and win the hearts of German people, then this sport will grow here even more,” said the sprinter, who hopes to make Fiji’s World Series squad. (SEE FULL RESULTS PAGE 2)