World Wheelchair Rugby Challenge starts with win for hosts GB
12:45 13 October 2015
A round-up of the action on day one at the Copper Box
The first day of the BT World Wheelchair Rugby Challenge 2015 got off to a flyer with both Canada and Great Britain picking up their first wins of the tournament.
With just two games on the opening day of competition, it was the highly anticipated clash between USA and Canada to kick start the week.
In Pool A, Canada, with the help of star man Zak Madell, managed to be at the right end of a one point win when they just edged out their neighbours 57-58.
In Pool B, hosts Great Britain were dominant in their game against France with a final score of 55-45.
The USA-Canada game was tight affair throughout and both sides went into the half time interval at 29-29.
There were some huge hits in the opening exchanges and Patrice Simard caught USA player Josh Wheeler off guard as he hit the floor.
USA pushed their opponents all the way but Canada opened up a four-point lead heading into the final period.
The scores were even for a brief moment as Chuck Aoki rallied the USA team with minutes remaining but Kevin Orr’s Canada held on to claim the victory.
In the second game of the evening GB stormed past France, ending the game ten points clear with a 55-45 score.
The stars from both teams, Ayaz Bhuta of Great Britain and Ryadh Sallem, were in fine form in front of the fans with Bhuta scoring the most points in the game.
The influence of Bhuta and Jim Roberts was too much for Olivier Cusin’s France side as they led at half time 28-19.
Paul Shaw gave every member of his squad a chance to impress with nine of the 12 players all getting on the score sheet.
The combination of Alan Ash and Bhuta was causing France problems with the long pass and the pace of Bhuta ending in tries on more than one occasion.