England win Wheelchair Rugby League World Cup

Drew Darbyshire
Tom Halliwell England Wheelchair Rugby League World Cup

A try at the death from captain Tom Halliwell saw England crowned champions of the Wheelchair Rugby League World Cup after beating France.

The English finished 28-24 winners against France in front of a 4,526 crowd at Manchester Central – a new world record.

France took the lead through a Lionel Alazard penalty goal in the second minute before he scored the game’s opening try in the 10th minute.

Player of the match Halliwell got his first in the 20th minute, with Rob Hawkins converting to reduce the deficit to two points.

France extended their lead though through captain Gilles Clausells.

England pulled one back just before the break thanks to Jack Brown, and they were only 14-12 behind at half-time.

England behind at the break

The English came out firing at the start of the second half, with Lewis King putting the hosts ahead.

The English went into a 22-14 lead in the 54th minute when Brown went over again.

Gilles Clausells got France back into the game on the hour though when he crashed over. The conversion was good and France were just 22-20 behind, setting up a pulsating final 20 minutes.

France and England exchanged a couple of penalty goals in the final quarter, and the score was tied at 24-24 with just eight minutes remaining.

And it was the skipper Halliwell who stepped up in the dying embers of the match to seal a 28-24 win for England, seeing them crowned world champions in front of an impressive 4,526 crowd in Manchester.

France: Abassi, Alazard, Bourson, Pennella, N Clausells. Subs: Guttadoro, Hivernat, Mautz, G Clausells, Vargas.

England: Halliwell, Hawkins, Coyd, Bechara, King. Subs: Collins, Brown, Roberts, Boardman, Simpson.

Attendance: 4,526

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