venue: Medway Park, Gillingham
11th July 2013
Full Match Report
WHEELCHAIR WORLD CUP SEMI FINAL
France maintained their unbeaten run in a free-scoring clash, cruising through to the final despite a spirited second-half challenge from Wales.
Les Bleues ran in eight tries before the break to lead comfortably 46-10; Chris Dennett and Scott Turner responding for the Welsh.
After the break, Turner completed his hat trick and captain Paul Craig took his tally to 14 points. However, two tries from Jerome Bonnet and a seven-point burst from Mickael Gaune sealed the French victory.
“At the start of the game we did not play well and we looked nervous,” said France head coach Sylvain Crismanovic. “After the first 20 minutes we were much better but our focus now must be for Saturday’s final. That is our goal.”
Lionel Alazard opened the scoring for the French as they overloaded on one side and he dummied his way over.
Nicolas Claussells chased down Gaune’s kick to double the advantage soon after and Alazard exploited a gap in the Welsh line to cross for his second.Wales hit back with successive tries cut the deficit to six points.
Craig’s high kick fell to Dennett allowing him to cross unchallenged and Turner touched down on the right.France upped a gear as Dany Denuwelaere bulldozed his way into the goal area and Fabian Plaza added another converted score.
Five minutes before half time Nicolas Claussells claimed his second and Gilles Claussells grounded two more in quick succession for a comfortable interval lead.
Wales held their line well in the second half and, 10 minutes in, Turner completed his hat trick with back-to-back scores. He collected Craig’s kick for his second and raced the full length of the court for his third with Craig adding the extras.
The French defence was penalised moments later and Craig converted the penalty to bring the score to 46-24 but even with France resting most of the scorers from the first half, they kept up the intensity; Jean-Yves Ducos and Bonnet crossing.
Skipper Gaune added a try, conversion and a fantastic drop-goal to send France through to the World Cup Final, Craig grabbing a consolation try for the Welsh.
Lionel Alazard, Gilles Clausells, Mickael Gaune, Jean-Yves Ducos, Nicolas Massatt, Dany Denuwelaere, Nicolas Claussells, Manuel Morais, Fabian Plaza, Jerome Bonnet
Martin Lane, Scott Turner, Josh Dunn, George Hill, Mike Porter, Jonathan Dunn, Chris Dennett, Alan Caron, Paul Craig