Wheelchair Senior International Match - England 24 France 49
England 24 France 49
Medway Park, November 10
After a break of 18 months, France roared back into wheelchair rugby league action with a win against a formidable England team at Medway Park in Kent, England.
After a spectacular light show greeted both teams into the arena, the first quarter was very tight with some brutal defence, as both teams felt their way back into international competition. After the first quarter there was a only a penalty goal for France on the board.
The second quarter saw an exchange of converted tries, first from Gilles Clausells matched by Rob Hawkins for England before France seized control in the late stages of the first half with Gilles Clausells scoring his second try and Jeremy Bourson adding another, to extend their lead to 22-6.
Halliwell set up a try for his Leeds team-mate James Simpson to give England fresh hope early in the second half, but France stretched away again with clinical tries from Julien Panella and Lionel Alazard.
England hinted at an improbable fightback as Halliwell laid on a try for the lively Nathan Collins. This was described by one commentator as "the best try I have ever seen scored in a wheelchair game". Halliwell then went over himself, with Collins converting both to reduce the arrears to 36-24.
However it was France with the final word as Dany Denuwelaere scored the try his formidable performance deserved, and applied further gloss with a second try for Bourson who completed the scoring with a drop goal.
England tries Collins, Halliwell, Hawkins, Simpson. Goals Coyd, Collins 2, Roberts.
France tries G Clausells 2, Bourson 2, Denuwelaere, Alazard, Penella. Goals N Clausells 7, G Clausells 3. Drop goal Bourson