Day two review: Gold medal favourites off to great start
Af Beau Greenway
After the second day of competition, the USA, Australia, Canada and Japan have shown why they are the top four nations in wheelchair rugby.
The defending champions, USA, recorded convincing wins over both France and New Zealand today and are going to very hard to stop in the kind of form they are in. Chuck Aoki was a key factor in the results for the USA and was very happy with the effort from the team.
- I thought it was an excellent complete team win. It was really important to get a good start. We are here to win every single game so it was great to get everybody some experience out on the court, Aoki said.
Teammate Derrick Helton credited the depth team USA has at their disposal.
- I trust anybody to go on the court at any time. There is no one that will drop tempo coming on and I trust them like brothers. We are going to keep on track and keep trying to do what we are doing because every game is a new game, Helton said.
Australia were equally impressive against Great Britain in their first match of the tournament. The world’s No.2 ranked team got off to a great start and eventually won 55-46.
Australian coach Brad Dubberley was extremely satisfied with his team’s performance.
- It was good to get a win and get the World Championship underway. They are a really good team and are improving every time we play them. Everyone contributed which is a very positive thing for the week ahead. I'm very pleased with how the whole team played, we aren't driven by the scoreboard we just know that if we execute we will get results, Dubberley said.
Canada also started with a strong performance over hosts Denmark. The strong home crowd wasn’t enough to stop the Canadians quest for their second world title.
- We know that we've got to take everyone seriously here but we are here to win and anything other than that will be a real disappointment, said Canada’s Miranda Biletski.
Japan cannot be written off either as they won both of their matches against European giants Sweden and Germany. Head coach Adam Frost applauded the efforts of the entire team throughout the day.
- We wanted to start off on a strong foot and we accomplished that. We’ve watched them on tape and worked out what their game plan was going to be. We were able to score our goals and use our speed to create turnovers on defence which was the key to our success. Our high point players carried the game most of the time so when they play well we do well, he said.
The game of the day was played out by lower ranked nations Finland and Belgium. Finland trailed at the main break but staged a strong second half fight back to narrowly win 48-46.
Here is a complete wrap of the day’s scores:
Germany 38 – 53 Japan
USA 62 – 41 France
Finland 48 – 46 Belgium
Denmark 47 – 58 Canada
Great Britain 46 – 55 Australia
Japan 62 – 58 Sweden
New Zealand 37 – 54 USA
Day 3 will be filled with just as much action as another seven matches are to be played on the very busy World Championship schedule.
Watch all the games on demand here.