Australia claim 2-point win over Canada in world premier wheelchair rugby game
Canada suffered a rare open game loss at the World Wheelchair Rugby Championship, losing a 55-53 decision to two-time Paralympic champions Australia on Tuesday in Vejle, Denmark.
The Canadians, ranked sixth internationally, came within two points a few times in the final minute of play, but failed to register the turnover needed to give themselves a chance to defeat the Australians, ranked fourth in the world.
» It’s difficult. We intend to win every game,” defender Cody Caldwell of Peterborough, Ont., said after the game. « Every point counts here. They played their game and we failed. »
Canada continues Wednesday’s group game at 3 a.m. ET against Japan, followed by an 11 a.m. ET match against Colombia. Denmark (7) and Brazil (9) are the other teams in Group B.
What a boon for #TeamCanada 🍁 at the end of the 3rd quarter! @WCRugbyCanada pic.twitter.com/n12zhc3BN5
« We have a good start to the game with Japan. We know [them] inside/outside and they know us,” Caldwell said of the 2018 World Gold Medalists. “We need to stretch, eat and sleep well.”
« For all games, but especially for Japan, it’s going to be about getting off to a good start, » added Caldwell’s teammate Travis Murao, 39. « We can’t dig ourselves a hole early. »
Watch Canada match coverage on the free CBC Gem streaming service, cbcsports.ca and the CBC Sports app for iOS and Android.
Quad Nations Champions
Group A includes Great Britain (2), USA (3), France (5), New Zealand (8), Germany (10) and Switzerland (12). The top four teams from each group advance to Friday’s quarter-finals, which are being held at the world championship for the first time. The semi-finals are on Saturday, with the medal games on Sunday.
More than 130 players, including a record 13 women – three of whom are members of the Australian squad – will take part in the event.
In September, Canada beat reigning Paralympic champions Great Britain in the Quad Nations final and showed significant growth since a disappointing fifth place finish at the Tokyo 2021 Paralympic Games.
As a veteran of the team, @MWhitehead1975 shares his experience on how his time with the team has changed. Find Mike and the rest of #TeamCanada at the World Wheelchair Rugby Championship. #SuperSeries @WCRugbyCanada pic.twitter.com/JAS56vBVfc
Canada’s 12-member world championship team, which includes 11 Paralympians, also won silver in June at the Canada Cup in Richmond, BC.
Canada finished sixth at the last world championships in 2018 in Sydney, Australia, where Japan won the gold medal. The Canadians won silver in 2014 and are seeking their first world title since 2002.
Shayne Smith, a national team offensive player since 2017, has seen significant growth with the team since the 2018 worlds.
« It’s the same core of guys, and it’s such a different team. It’s just such an amazing thing to grow with these guys and watch us grow. I’m very confident about where we are, » Smith said. .
Wednesday October 12
3 a.m. ET – Canada vs. Japan (game will be broadcast via a delayed highlight show)
11 a.m. ET – Canada vs. Colombia (Live)
Thursday October 13
9:00 a.m. ET – Canada vs. Brazil (to be broadcast via a delayed highlights show)
12 p.m. ET – Canada vs. Denmark (live)
- Zak Madell— Okotoks, AB.
- Fabien Lavoie Quebec City
- Mike Whitehead— Windsor, Ont.
- Matt Debly – Windsor, Ont.
- Shayne Smith— Toronto
- Cody Caldwell – Peterborough, Ont.
- Anthony Letourneau — Boisbriand, Que.
- Travis Murao— Toronto
- Patrice Dagenais Embrun, Ont.
- Trevor Hirschfield – Parksville, BC
- Eric Rodrigues — Mississauga, Ont.
- Byron Green—Vancouver