Canada’s Gold Medal Hopes Dashed by Australia at the 2016 Canada Cup International Wheelchair Rugby Tournament
Wheelchair Rugby Canada – (RICHMOND, BC — June 25) Canada’s hopes of a gold medal were dashed today with a 54-43 loss against Australia at the 2016 Canada Cup International Wheelchair Rugby Tournament. Due to the tournament’s round-robin format, Canada’s medal chances now depend on the performance of other teams, and a win against USA tomorrow at 2:30 pm.
“Sometimes it’s hard to say what team is going to show up,” said head coach Kevin Orr. “When we play our style of play, we’re awesome. When we don’t, it’s ugly.”
From the tip-off, both teams struggled to find their rhythm. The first quarter featured multiple fouls and turnovers on both sides, but ended with Australia up 12-11.
In the second quarter, however, the smothering defence of Ryley Batt and Chris Bond stymied the Canadians. Their struggles to inbound the ball and get it over half led to 3 turnovers in a row. At the half, Australia had built a comfortable 26-22 lead.
Canada’s turnover woes continued in the second half. Though their second string came in the boost the mood of the crowd with some hard hits, no lineup combination was able to build momentum. The Canadians finished the game with 16 turnovers.
Orr hopes that this disappointing performance will provide a learning experience for Rio.
“We’ve got some work to do, but that’s why we’re here: so we can do better in Rio.”
Canada will have one last game tomorrow at 2:30 pm against their rivals, the USA. Last summer, Canada qualified for the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games by beating the USA at the Toronto 2015 Parapan American Games. A win tomorrow would boost the team’s confidence.
Both sides are looking forward to the grudge match. Though the Americans are 5-0, they aren’t taking Team Canada for granted.
“Tomorrow is the biggest game of the tournament for us,” said USA’s Josh Wheeler. “They are a great team and they will be a hard opponent for us.”
The 2016 Canada Cup International Wheelchair Rugby Tournament concludes tomorrow. Games can be viewed live at the Richmond Olympic Oval or online at viasport.ca.
For schedule, rosters and stats, please visit www.canadacupwcrugby.com .
To download bios and high-res photos for each Team Canada player, click here.
For more information or to schedule an interview, contact:
BC Wheelchair Sports Association | Wheelchair Rugby Canada
Note: Media accreditation can be received on site.
About Canada Cup
Canada Cup is hosted every two years by BC Wheelchair Sports Association and Canadian Wheelchair Sports Association. It is the most prestigious wheelchair rugby tournament outside of the World Championships or Paralympic Games. This year, Canada Cup will welcome the seven of the top teams in the world in the final stop before the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games. Canada Cup is supported by the Government of Canada, the Province of BC, viaSport, the International Wheelchair Rugby Federation, Local 258 IBEW, the Richmond Olympic Oval, Richmond Sport Hosting, and many other partners.
The webcast for the 2016 Canada Cup International Wheelchair Rugby Tournament is powered by viaSport. viaSport Media is the content creation and production arm of viaSport British Columbia, tasked with increasing the exposure, recognition and power of amateur-level sport across the province and the world. The goal driving viaSport Media is to offer a broad range of online programming – live-streamed events, interviews, commentary and more – bringing amateur sport coverage into every home across the province. To learn more visit www.viasport.ca.