England Wheelchair side lose to France
The England Wheelchair Rugby League side lost 44-34 to France on Saturday in Cahors in front of a record 1,060 supporters.
England got off to a bright start when some crisp handling put Martin Norris in for the first try of the game. The French team scored the next three tries, each from a repeat set, to take an 18-4 lead.
Tom Docherty came off the bench to score an outstanding individual try from inside his own half, with great acceleration to get outside his marker and race clear to score under the posts with his first touch of the ball on his England debut. Adam Rigby added the conversion.
Despite having a player sin-binned on 28 minutes the English defence led by Andy Wharton and debutant Jack Heggie was outstanding and the French failed to add to their tally. England’s morale was lifted further when Jack Brown’s neat change of direction on the French line gave him enough room to score. Rigby again added the extras to bring the half-time score to 18-16.
Early in the second half Brown added another try, converted by Rigby to give England the lead before two French tries put the hosts back in front at 28-22. A midfield struggle then ensued until Tom Docherty scored his second try with some great evasion to break the line from 10 metres out, with Rigby again converting.
A couple of minutes later, Norris added his second with good support play after some slick hands in midfield and with Rigby adding the extras again, the crowd of 1,060 was silenced.
However, the hosts had plenty of time and were able to add three further tries, two coming again on repeat sets from penalties and the final score was France 44 – England 34.
England Head Coach Phil Roberts summarised, “I’m very proud of the guys tonight, they couldn’t have done much more. I was very pleased with our performance and I believe that we played the better rugby and personally, I was left confused by the 11-1 penalty count against us. We’re obviously disappointed with the result but it was a great game for the spectators and a good day for wheelchair rugby league. There is real passion and profile for the game here in France which we hope to match in England by the time of the next World Cup.”
For highlights please go to the RFL’s YouTube page: Channel: 1895RugbyLeague http://www.youtube.com/user/1895RugbyLeague?feature=mhum