8th July 2012, 16:32
First Wales Wheelchair Rugby League game
Wales have played their first ever Wheelchair Rugby League matches this weekend, beating Scotland 20-6 and Ireland 44-4 but we lost to England in the final match.
Wales have played their first ever Wheelchair internationals, finishing second to England in a Home Nations tournament.
England attained a 3-0 undefeated streak in the first ever Wheelchair Four Nations tournament this weekend in Hull featuring uncapped internationals from the home nations squads.
England Head Coach Steve McNamara was in attendance to present the medals and is a big fan of the sport.
He said: “It was fascinating. Rugby league in general is a highly competitive and physical encounter and you certainly see that in the Wheelchair game. It was great to see the enjoyment of the game in everyone that was here today. The enthusiasm of all that were involved was fantastic to see.”
“We are very inclusive as a sport and we certainly look after each other. Regardless of which bracket they are under, whether it’s the women, the Knights, our academy, they are all serving under the England banner and the Wheelchair team are a great addition to our Rugby League family.”
The opening day saw England and Wales claim confident victories. Wales started their campaign with a 20-6 verdict over Scotland while England bagged a 34-12 success against Ireland. Wales continued their winning ways as they closed out the first day with a 44-4 win over Ireland.
On the second day of competition, England claimed the title in spectacular style defeating Scotland and Wales without conceding a single score.
They were firing on all cylinders as they beat Scotland in a ten try 50-0 rout in the first game of the final day. The English raced into a 24-0 lead at the break with Medway Dragons’ Nik Brookes landing 3 of his 4 tries before the hooter.
Brookes completed his tally two minutes into the break and two scores from Chris Greenhalgh and a try from Merseyside’s Mike Stevenson sealed the comprehensive result.
Ireland featured next against Scotland and 16 year old Joshua Gardner opened the scoring as he touched down in the corner for a 4-0 Ireland advantage. The lead didn’t last for long as Declan Beddis crashed over for the Scots to level the scores.
Beddis put Scotland in front with his second try of the game as he picked up a loose ball and crossed over. Seconds before the break, Jacob Robinson broke through the line and pulled the scores back to honours even. At halftime, the teams were all square at 8-8.
The second half was a tight and tense affair until Scotland tired towards the end. In the closing minutes Jodie Boyd Ward sealed Ireland’s sole victory of the tournament as she slammed the ball down to complete a 14-8 victory.
England and Wales were undefeated from 2 games heading into the decisive match of the competition. England’s Brookes continued his impressive scoring run as he was first to put points on the board for the English.
Joe Coyd doubled the advantage as he weaved through the Welsh defence and grounded the second try of the game for an 8-0 head start. After the break further scores from Coyd and Stevenson and a fantastic break from Ian Kenny completed a 34-0 Championship winning success.
Saturday July 7
Wales 20 Scotland 6
Ireland 12 England 34
Wales 44 Ireland 4
Sunday July 8
England 50-0 Scotland
Ireland 14-8 Scotland
England 34-0 Wales
The tournament was held in Hull in preparation for the 2013 Wheelchair Rugby League World Cup and aims to attract new players that are eligible to represent their country in this exciting sport.
Wheelchair Rugby League is fairly unique in that it offers both disabled and non-disabled players of both sexes the opportunity to compete both with and against each other on a level playing field.
This is created by the use of wheelchairs and some slight adaptations to the rules of 13-a-side Rugby League.
Everyone is welcome to come down and watch the action or have a go. If you’re new to the sport here are a few key points:
- There are five players on each side
- The object of the game is to score tries
- Conversions are scored by punching the ball over the mini-posts from a tee
- Tackles are made in the same way as Tag Rugby by pulling off the attached tag
- Five tackles are followed by the handing over of possession
- Offside, knock-on and in-touch apply just like in the full version of the game