venue: Medway Park, Gillingham
3rd July 2013
Full Match Report
WHEELCHAIR WORLD CUP GAME 2
Defending world champions England fell at the first hurdle of their title defence as France secured an eight-point victory at Medway.
Two tries from Nicolas Claussells and a try either side of the break from Gilles Claussells and Dany Delaweare gave France the winning margin.
But it was ultimately a lack of discipline that cost England the game after conceding two penalties converted by Fabian Plaza.
Jack Brown grabbed two tries towards the end but it wasn’t enough to steal a victory. However, Brown refused to be negative about the result.
“I don’t see this as a negative result at all,” said Brown.
“Some points go one way and some points went the other way. The score doesn’t show how close this game was. We never give up, we never back down until that final buzzer sounds and it was a good game for both sides.”
Heggie opened the scoring in the fifth minute after France were penalized for back-to back offsides. Heggie converted the penalty with ease for a slight 2-0 advantage in an explosive action-packed game.
France replied immediately with the game’s first try as Nicolas Claussells crashed under the posts. French Captain Mikael Guane added the extras to go ahead by four points.
England regained the lead when Andy Wharton chased and touched down Greenhalgh’s high kick to level the scores at six. Heggie added the extras to regain the lead.
That lead was shortlived as the England defence were not quick enough to react to the speed of Delawaere as he bulldozed his way under the posts. Fabian Plaza set up the try and he converted the kick to overtake England by four points at halftime.
Both teams battled hard in the second half pushing each other to their limits and England leveled things up as they flicked the ball quickly to the left for Greenhalgh to score in the corner with 15 minutes gone.
Again, France wasted no time in retaining their advantage as Gilles Claussells crossed under the posts to take the score to 18-12.
The Frenchmen extended their lead moments later after England were penalized for shirt pulling. Plaza successfully scored the two-point kick.
England conceded another penalty given for obstruction as Plaza extended France’s advantage into double figures.
England refused to give up as Jack Brown grounded a try to cut the deficit to six points and set up a tense finish.
England hopes faded as Nicolas Claussells chased down a kick over the top for his second of the game to extend the lead to 12 points.
Brown responded with his second try to trim the score down to 28-20 in the last five minutes but the ask was too great for the defending champions as France ran away with the win.
Chris Greenhalgh, Martin Norris, Andy Wharton, Mike Stevenson, Ian Kenny, Jack Brown, Gina Smallwood, Adam Rigby, Phil Roberts, Jack Heggie
Lionel Apazard, Gilles Clausells, Mickael Gaune, Jean-Yves Ducos, Manuel Morais, Nicolas Massatt, Dany Denwelaere, Nicolas Claussells, Fabian Plaza, Jerome Bonnet