England Wheelchair suffer 43-22 defeat
The England Wheelchair Rugby League team fell to a 43-22 defeat to their French counterparts when the sides met in a mid-season international at Medway Park on Monday August 27.
England, defending Wheelchair World Cup champions, went into the game having recorded an impressive 34-32 victory over the French last year but a rampant France manage to avenge that defeat and open up a 29-0 lead before England’s first points came in the dying moments of the first half.
It took France just five minutes to open the scoring when Jerome Bonnet touched down in the right hand corner off the back of some slick handling play and Dany Denuwelaere then doubled the advantage to 12-0 on the fifteen minute mark with a copycat try.
A whirlwind ten minute spell saw France add another three tries before the half-hour mark. Bonnet scored his second of the game on the 20 minute mark when he found space down the right hand side before Jean-Yves Ducos profited from some poor defensive work just two minutes later.
Denuwelaere extended the lead to 25-0 when he landed a well struck drop-goal on the 28 minute mark, moments before France’s Cyrill Torres scored his side’s fifth try of the half when he showed great skill to place the ball over the try line split-seconds before crossing the touch line.
England’s Chris Greenhaigh finally broke the home side’s duck in the dying moments of the half when he touched down to take England into the half-time break at 29-6 down and with a lot of work to do.
England began the second half strongly and it took just one minute for Tom Doherty to add his name to the score sheet but the gap between the sides proved to be too great to overcome as a penalty from Giles Clauseills, followed by a second try from Denuwelaere, saw the French extend their advantage once again.
A try from Lionel Alazard in the 65 minute saw France extended the lead to 43-12 before England finished with a flurry, with two quick-fire tries from Martin Norris coming within a four minute spell, to leave the scores at 43-22 on the final whistle.
England Team v France
1, Wayne Boardman
2, Andy Wharton
3, Martin Norris
4, Paul Carig
5, Tom Doherty
6, Ian Kenny
7, Chris Greenhaigh
8, Phil Roberts
Tries: Greenhaigh, Doherty, Norris 2
Goals: Boardman 2, Roberts
France Team v England
1, Cyril Torres
2, Nicolas Massat
3, Giles Clausells
4, Jerome Bonnet
5, Jean-Yves Ducos
6, Lionel Alazard
7, Jerome Henras
8, Dany Denuweleare
Tries: Bonnet 2, Denulweare 2, Ducos, Torres, Alazard
Goals: Clausells 7
Drop Goal: Dunulweare