May 10, 2017
USA Wheelchair Rugby 2-0 to Open Tri Nations Wheelchair Rugby Invitational at Lakeshore Foundation
Photo: USA Wheelchair Rugby / Lakeshore Foundation
The Lakeshore Foundation in Birmingham, Alabama hosted the 2017 Tri Nations Wheelchair Rugby Invitational on May 10-13 with the USA, Canada and Japan participating. The teams are ranked by the International Wheelchair Rugby Federation (IWRF) 2, 4 and 3, respectively. Games were streamed on the Lakeshore Foundation Facebook page.
In years where the Paralympics or World’s are not being held, there are fewer competitions. This tournament provides a competition prior to teams going to Tokyo and then for the USA and Canada, going to the Americas Tournament in Paraguay later this Summer in attempt to qualify for the World’s.
Prior to the invitational, Mandy Goff and Clay Brackett, the USA Wheelchair Rugby High Performance Manager and USA Wheelchair Rugby player, respectively, were interviewed WJOX 94.5 FM on the Opening Drive.
May 10 Games
The opening game of the Tri Nations Wheelchair Rugby Invitational had Japan beating Canada 59-37.
USA v Canada
The USA dominant defense and and pin-point attacking passes led to a dominant win over rivals Canada 64-36. At the end of the first quarter, the USA led 16-5 and extended their lead to 32-13 at halftime. The USA did not let up during the second half leading 48-24 after the third quarter, before closing out the game 64-36.
USA v Japan
The first quarter was close between the USA and Japan with the USA taking a narrow 13-11 lead. The game continued to be close at halftime with the USA having a 27-25 lead. Both teams executed numerous fast breaks with some aggressive defense. It’s always amazing how Chuck Aoki navigates his way through defenders to score.
The hype between the USA and Japan proves to be accurate, as the game continues to be very close. Japan narrowed the gap after the third quarter, but the USA still has a one point lead, 41-40.
The USA stellar defense created a turnovers and the offense gave the team a 48-44 cushion with a little four minutes remaining. Japan came back to narrow the lead to 51-49 with two minutes left in the game. The USA exhibited patience passing the ball to control the clock and emerged with a 54-51 victory.
Schedule & Results
- May 10: Japan 59-37 Canada
- May 10: USA 64-36 Canada
- May 10: USA 54-51 Japan
- May 11: Canada USA
- May 11: Japan USA
- May 11: Japan Canada
- May 12: Japan USA
- May 12: Japan Canada
- May 12: USA Canada
- May 13: 2nd v 3rd
- May 13: 1st v winner 2nd/3rd