Germany belied their position as the lowest ranked team in the Rugby World Cup 2019 Repechage with an impressive 26-9 defeat of top seeds Hong Kong in the day's second match at the Stade Delort in Marseille on Sunday.
A powerful second-half display saw Germany triumph over a side who were ranked eight places higher than them in the World Rugby Rankings going into the match.
Canada also made a winning start to the tournament as they bid to preserve their record of having appeared in every Rugby World Cup, scoring 10 tries in a 65-19 defeat of Kenya in which winger DTH van der Merwe scored the first hat-trick of his test career.
Germany captain Michael Poppmeier: “That was an extremely intense 80 minutes. The first 40 was a bit equal and then I think maybe our fitness got us towards the end, the last 20. Our subs came on and put in a massive effort. It was 100 per cent fight, as well as a little bit of belief and probably preparation.”
Hong Kong captain James Cunningham: “I am obviously really disappointed, we played some good rugby today but when it mattered we didn’t complete. We had a couple of knock-ons at crucial times in the game, we gave away too many penalties and that was all that Germany needed today to win the game.
The action continues next Saturday, when Hong Kong will look to bounce back against Kenya at 3pm and Canada tackle Germany in a battle of the unbeaten teams at 6pm.
The winner of the four-team tournament -- involving Canada, Kenya, Germany and Hong Kong -- will go into Pool B at next year's Rugby World Cup alongside New Zealand, South Africa, Namibia and Italy.