March 15, 2024

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England Off To Flying Start With Thrilling Victory Over Australia Wheelaroos

3 min read
England Off To Flying Start With Thrilling Victory Over Australia Wheelaroos

Welcome to your new favorite sport. Well, that’s what those who were fortunate enough to be present at London’s Copper Box Arena must have believed after witnessing a thoroughly entertaining evening with 20 of the most incredible athletes you’re likely to find anywhere.

However, it’s not quite rugby league as you might be used to. And it’s possibly England’s best opportunity to take home a Rugby League World Cup this year. This time, rugby league’s best-kept secret is on display for everyone to see. The previous three editions of the tournament were almost held in low-key circumstances. And this is where we witnessed the best play.

The hosts lost to France in the last two finals, but after defeating them in the middle of the season, there is a lot of optimism that Tom Cody’s team can advance further at home. With a convincing victory over Australia’s Wheelaroos, they increased their chances of winning Group A and qualifying for the final on November 18 in Manchester.

Every time the players collided at full tilt, the Copper Box spectators could be heard groaning audibly. Frequently, the heroes of this sport were knocked to the ground as a result of their chairs tipping over. Those who were at the center of the collisions were, for the most part, grinning each time they got back up and returned to the action.

That is wheelchair rugby league’s appeal. Possibly the hardest version of the sport to play is this one. It goes beyond the physical and is uncompromising. It is a celebration of everything great about rugby league, though, and the players play the game in the proper manner while grinning. Additionally, it now has the stage and platform that are due to it.

There aren’t many sports as inclusive as soccer, where players with and without disabilities share the same field with players of every age and gender. A few years ago, the sport was played on courts covered in markings from other sports in empty arenas. It was as though the wheelchair game had just made its grand entrance. Of course, the nature and manner of England’s victory—the hosts were outstanding—helped.

England Off To Flying Start With Thrilling Victory Over Australia Wheelaroos

As you might expect from England and Australia, the early exchanges were brutal. After nine minutes, Diab Karim ground the ball after picking up his own chip over the top. This gave the Wheelaroos the lead.

However, that ignited England, and by halftime, they were leading 26-6. Although the intensity and the massive collisions did not abate from either side, two tries from Joe Coyd and another from Jack Brown gave the hosts the upper hand. However, England was far more impressed with the ball in hand.

With 40 minutes left to play, the hosts felt invincible after the outstanding Nathan Collins added a fourth try and Coyd scored his second. Although there weren’t as many points after the break, you could tell that England had maintained control of the game and was able to keep Australia at bay thanks to their experience.

With nine minutes left, Coyd broke free to send Collins over in the corner for his second try after Seb Bechara scored the game’s first try with a cross-field kick. With Australia adding a late penalty, the score became 38-6, which in reality did not do the hosts any favors. Before either team received the praise their efforts deserved, it made sense to note that the score did not flatter the hosts.

Spain defeated Ireland 55-32 in the opening game of the doubleheader in London’s Group A. Ireland’s Phil Roberts gave the Wolfhounds the lead with the first try of the competition, but Spain quickly took control of the rest of the first half by scoring 30 unanswered points.

Theo Gonzalez of Spain scored a try in each half and was largely responsible for all of their success in the first half. In order to prevent the Irish from mounting a comeback, Peter Johnston Jr. scored a hat-trick for the Wolfhounds on either side of halftime to make the score 34-20. However, Spain regained the initiative, and Yannick Martin scored for them in the second half as they managed to keep the Irish at bay and win easily.

Reference: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2022/nov/03/england-australia-spain-ireland-wheelchair-rugby-league-world-cup

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