sports gazette

France fight back after trophy loss

Published: 25 Sep 2015

What a difference a day makes as France make amends for their defeat to England in the Kielty Fassolette Trophy

As the crowds gathered in Medway Park for the first day of the Wheelchair Rugby League European Championships, England had everything to play for and confidence was high after their convincing win against the current World Champions, France, in the very same venue just the night before.

However, it was France who took the lead early on in the match, no doubt wanting to restore national pride after their 56-26 defeat in the Keilty Fassolette Trophy exhibition match last night.

For much of the first half France dominated the action keeping a close and tight defence throughout, despite having the crowd cheering loudly for the home team. England meanwhile failed to repeat their previous performance against the World Champions and for much of the first half appeared to have to lost their drive and attack.

It looked as though England were going to head into half time with no score on the board, but a conversion by captain Jack Brown, ensured the players went into the break with at least 2 points, although France still remained firmly in the lead 26-2.  

But wheelchair rugby is a game of two halves and whatever the coach said to the England players during half time must of worked as they came back fighting. 

England's varied style of attack proved successful, outwitting the French side, who failed to score in the second half. 

Fans were on the edge of their seat right up until the final whistle but in the end the French were victorious having done enough in the first half to ensure England's incredible comeback could not cause a repeat of the defeat the night before, with the full time score 26-24 to France.

France went on to dominate play throughout the day defeating the Irish team, who came second in last years championships, 100-8, just hours after their win over England.

The action continues tomorrow at 11am with England facing Wales at Medway Park.

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