The Door to German victory

BodoSieber_Gemany_07.jpgPlaying for
your country is a special honour, as any rugby and especially Springbok fan
could witness given the emotions and commitment of the teams during the World
Cup. But what if your country is a bit off the radar when it comes to
international rugby?
"It is huge! Anthem, tears and all – on the day you
are one of the 15 that have been chosen to give your all for your country, so I
guess it doesn’t matter what colour your jersey is." says UCT stalwart and
German international Bodo Sieber.

Apart from racking in 150 plus varsity 1XV
and a handful of provincial caps, he has also played for his native country
close to 20 times in World Cup qualifiers and the European Nations Cup also
known as Six Nations B.


In November 2007 Sieber or "The Door" as he is know by his UCT
rugby mates, was called up to play two crucial matches in the Europen Nations
Cup. The tournament runs over two years and Germany is in a strong
position to get promoted to the A group, to compete with teams such as Romania,
Georgia or RWC newcomers Portugal. As was evident at the World Cup, with
Tonga scaring the Springboks and Georgia almost upsetting a shaky Ireland, the developing rugby nations are
catching up fast. So, whats the level like? "More and more of the guys are
playing in professional set-ups, many German and also Belgian players play in the French second and third league,
Moldovans and Ukrainians play in the Romanian professional league, so it is a
solid and seriously physical competition." says Sieber.

Germany had in 2006 comprehensively beaten Belgium as part of an unbeaten home-record
of over 15 matches and as a result may have taken the task in
Brussels a bit too lightly. The match,
played in front of 6000 people started with a classic French style mass brawl
that saw a German forward yellow carded and two more injured, unable to
continue after not even 5 minutes. Depleted, the German pack then struggled
with the Belgian driving maul and a further yellow card for continued
infringement by yet another undisciplined forward resulted in a half-time score
of 17:3. Germany then got their composure back and fought hard in the second
half, but the crowd saw their team home to a 32-18 win, with the German team
devastaded as the imminent promotion seemed to have slipped out of their reach.

The second fixture Sieber was involved in was played in his hometown Heidelberg
vs log leaders Moldova, who had just sneaked yet another away win, this time vs
Holland. The home team was determined to rectify their slip-up in Belgium and started like a house on
fire, never giving their visitors a chance, building on their uncompromising
defence and recording a very strong 34:5 victory in front of their ecstatic
home crowd.

After impressing with strong runs as one of the few stand-out players in the Brussels disaster, Sieber was one of the
pillars of his side’s success vs
Moldova. Competitive in the line-outs, taking
a number of opposition ball, with great
presence around the park, hard working and defending in open play.

So what
does the season hold for the Ikey veteran? "I am a bit disappointed not to
get a shot at the Varsity Cup, as I am unfortunately not eligible due to the 25
year age restriction, but it is a great opportunity for all of us. It will be
an excellent start to our season and set a precedent to how we want to play and
make our mark in a more and more competitive and exciting Super league.” – which starts
in April. As to his international duties – there is still a promotion to be won
and with two matches left in the series Sieber is looking forward to being
involved again in the black, red and gold.

[Want to know more about the varsity cup? click here]

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