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The first round of the Rugby World Cup Repechage saw Germany upset Hong Kong 26-9 while Canada romped against Kenya 65-19. The winners will meet this Saturday, November 17, in Marseille, France. Probably, the victor will advance into the last 2019 World Cup slot, to play in Pool B against New Zealand, South Africa, Italy, and Namibia.
The German XV were the lowest ranked among the four teams in the event, so their win over Hong Kong - eight places higher in the world rankings - was regarded as a mild surprise. In 2017, Germany stunned European rugby with a 41-38 win over Romania, perennially, a top Tier Two team. The Germans also scored a win over Portugal in 2018.
Canada, a nation that has participated on all eight prior Rugby World Cups, trounced the Kenya side, even though the Africans were buoyed by the participation of sevens players. DTH Van der Merwe notched his first hat trick for Canada. The Canadians piled on ten tries in the rout.
The tournament will end on November 24 when Hong Kong play Canada and Germany meet Kenya.
Theoretically, there could be three fifteens with a 2-1 record, then the winner will be decided by bonus points. Currently, only Canada achieved a Round One bonus point (more than four tries) and lead Germany 5 to 4.