England win Wheelchair International
England Wheelchair Rugby League edged France 34-32 in a tense tie at Leigh Sports Village on Saturday afternoon thanks to a last minute penalty.
The scores were tied at 32 with a minute left and Roman Puly came charging in with a hard and illegal challenge. Wayne Boardman kept his composure and converted the decisive points to seal the current World Champions victory.
England started the game well thanks to scores from hat trick hero Jack Brown and Captain Martin Norris to race into a 12-0 lead.
But two quick tries from Frenchman Michael Gaune kept the game close going into the break with England leading 24-22.
From the re-start, the lead on either side was stretched to no more than four points. Gaune and Brown completed their hat tricks for their respective teams but frustration began to rise as both sides gave away penalties.
Cyril Torres converted two for les’ bleus to even the scores, but it was Boardman’s pinpoint penalty that decided the Frenchmen’s fate.
England Head Coach Phil Roberts said: ""We dominated possession and position for most of the first half but just didn't execute well enough, with just a 2 point lead at the break. Our final try was one of the best I've seen in the sport, from deep in our own half, with every player touching the ball."
"Our defence in the second half was superb, with most of their points coming from penalty kicks, so it's probably a little ironic that we won from a penalty goal, as it was the first one we've taken in 3 years. I'd like to thank the match sponsors Rapid Support Services and congratulate the whole squad on their success, I'm immensely proud of their achievements this week."