GB's Ayaz Bhuta and France's Rodolphe Jarlan (credit: Megumi Masuda)

GB Out of the Blocks with a Win

GB opened their tournament with a comfortable win against France 51-44. Having built a lead, Head Coach Paul Shaw used the game to give all of his lines an opportunity to get on the court and experience playing in the venue. I was honoured to welcome Mr Paul Madden, CMG, the UK Ambassador to Japan and his wife Sarah. It was the first time they had experienced wheelchair rugby and they were thrilled by it.

Prior to the GB game the tournament had opened with hosts Japan ranked 2nd in the world taking on Brazil ranked 10th. Brazil stuck at it but lost 61-42 as the hosts gave an early showing of their potential. Next up was the clash between the Australian Steelers and the NZ Wheel Blacks, with Australia coming out on top 60-40. The final game of the day saw ‘Murderball’ rivals the USA and Canada battling it out with the USA showing their strength and chalking up a 59-46 win. It was good to see Zak Madell return to international rugby for Canada as he is always a joy to watch.

Head Coach Paul Shaw during the GB v France game (credit: Megumi Masuda)

Tomorrow GB take on Brazil at 0815 UK time. Brazil ranked 10th in the world should not present any real threat to GB but Paul Shaw will want to see a clinical, error free performance ahead of Friday’s clash with hosts Japan.

David Pond