Chief Exec’s World Championship Diary: Japan Win the World Championship

Japan were crowned 2018 IWRF World Champions this afternoon following a stunning victory over host nation Australia 62-61. The spectators were also winners as they witnessed wheelchair rugby at its most exciting, with the lead constantly changing as both sides played fast, open rugby. It was Australia who took the lead 15-14 at Q1 only to see it slide away early in Q2 when they conceded a series of turnovers which saw Japan lead at half time 32-28. Australia came out firing at Q3 and quickly turned things around to lead by 2 tries. Most of us thought that Japan had let the ...
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Chief Exec’s World Championship Diary: Taking On the World Number One

It was a great feeling to wake up this morning and to know that we were in the last four of the World championship. Yes, I was feeling nervous about taking on the home nation Australia, the no. 1 in the world. but I reflected that this was better than playing for 5th/6th position, the place we have found ourselves in all recent tournaments. For a while we have known we are better than that, so I thought it’s now just a case of proving that and of knowing just how much better we are! There could be no tougher test than taking on Australia and the legendary pairing of Ry...
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Chief Exec’s World Championship Diary: What a Day!

Indeed what a day! I slept badly last night... actually I have not slept that well since arrival… but on my mind was today’s game knowing that if we could win we would equal the best result that any GB team has ever achieved in a major international tournament. Going through my mind was that we had not achieved better than a 5th position since 2006, and how many times had I watched us come so close? In 2014 we lost out to Canada by 1 point after two periods of extra time; the same happened in Rio – again it was Canada knocking us out by 1 point in extra time. Yet some...
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Chief Exec’s World Championship Diary: Edging Closer to the Semi-Finals

The mental resilience I wrote about yesterday was everywhere today as the team faced Canada, ranked 3 in the world, in the first of two GB matches scheduled for today. GB came out of the blocks with a clear determination to get the job done and by the end of Q1 were 5 points ahead at 15-10. Canada bravely fought back in Q2 and not only absorbed the GB pressure but also forced some errors to win the quarter, though GB did sufficient to remain ahead by 26-23. Head Coach returned his strongest line up at the start of Q3 which brought immediate dividends and a number of turnove...
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Chief Exec’s World Championship Diary: Mental Resilience

GB warm up ahead of game v USA Greg Popovich, coach of the USA basketball team, the San Antonio Spurs was quoted on social media today as saying, ‘The measure of who we are is how we react to something that doesn’t go our way’. I read this as I was considering our performance against the USA. If you have not picked that up yet then I must record that we lost 47-41. The score in no way reflects the closeness of the game. Having lost the tip off we fought a brilliant first quarter which ended 11-11 and arguably an even better...
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Chief Exec’s World Championship Diary: Out of the Blocks

It was a great opening ceremony to the tournament but what struck me most was the commitment shown by some prominent Australian leaders. Present and speaking were the Governor General of Australia, His Excellency General Sir Peter Cosgrove AK MC (Ret’d) and the Governor of New South Wales, His Excellency General The Honourable David Hurley AC DSC (Ret'd), and Senator Bridget McKenzie the Minister of Sport. All spoke about the power of sport and their commitment to wheelchair rugby. It was difficult not to draw a comparison between the legacy of Australia’s 2000 Paralymp...
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