Photo Credit: SWPix
The first-ever Wheelchair Rugby League World Cup has started with a bang!
The first round of preliminary matches in England have had crowds going nuts and fans the world over applauding the game on social media. It has definitely become one of the main talking points of the World Cup.
France made immediate history with a massive win against a hapless Wales, Spain and the USA had their fans going off as they posted first-up victories, while England got the better of Australia in the heavyweight division.
It may have been the third match of the opening round, but it was certainly the one that went into the history books and one in which the stats keepers could barely keep up with right from the start. France was absolutely relentless and seemingly scored at will against Wales in their Group B matchup.
The tri-colours set the mood from the opening whistle and led by an incredible margin of 96-6 at halftime. If anyone thought the French might have taken their foot off the gas in the second half, they were sadly mistaken as France continued its scoring avalanche to eventually finish 154-6 victors. The French side put up no fewer than 27 tries. Lionel Alazard dotted down six times.
Spain squared off against Ireland in the first game of the tournament in Group A in London and made inroads right off the bat. The Spaniards scored nine tries, three by David Berty, and went on to win 55-32 in what was an entertaining game.
Next up in Group A, the host nation England tackled the old enemy Australia but unexpectedly, it didn’t go tit for tat as one might have thought it would with the English exerting their dominance from the get go to run out comfortable winners by 38-8.
Three English players scored doubles, including Joe Coyd, Nathan Collins and Jack Brown.
The final game of the round saw the US face off against Scotland in Group B and the Americans controlled proceedings from start to finish.
The Scots, who haven’t had a successful outing in any division at #RLWC2021, were competitive but couldn’t match the USA’s pace with the Americans winning 62-41. Four tries each by Mackenzie Johnson and Jeffrey Townsend led the way for the stars and stripes.