May 11, 2017
USA Beats Canada & Edged by Japan in Tri Nations Wheelchair Rugby
Photo: 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 for the Japan Para Wheelchair Rugby Championship May 25th-28th. The USA and Canada then will go to the Americas Zonals in Paraguay September 3-10, where they will attempt to qualify for the International Wheelchair Rugby Federation World’s.
On May 10th the first day of the invitational began with Japan defeating Canada 59-37, the USA beating Canada 64-36 and in the last game of the day, the USA defeated Japan 54-51. For a recap of day one, click here.
May 11 Games
USA v Canada
The first quarter was a defensive battle of clashing chairs, some turnovers, and crisp passes by both sides. At the end of the quarter, the USA held a 17-14 lead over Canada. In the second quarter, the USA’s tenacious defense created numerous turnovers and led to counterattacks that expanded the lead to 34-23 at halftime.
During the third quarter, both teams kept pace with each other for the first five minutes, then the USA defense created several turnovers and increased their lead to 50-35. The last quarter found both teams defending well and producing a few overturned chairs in the process. The final score was 63-45 to the USA.
The Tri Nations 2017 has seen multiple line changes during periods and strategy changes. The teams used their defense to try to create turnovers so they could counterattack and also employed an offensive strategy of using a passing attack to generate scores.
USA v Japan
The opening quarter saw a defensive battle with some fast breaks, excellent passing and a 13-13 score. In the second quarter Japan broke the tie and took a two point lead, but the USA fought back to tie the match at 21 all, before Japan took a 24-23 lead at halftime in this seesaw match.
The USA closed the deficit and then took a one point lead before Japan tied the game at 33 all. The game continued to be a close one as Japan closed out the third quarter with a narrow 36-35 lead.
In the fourth quarter, the USA tied the game at 41 all. Japan then took a two point lead and held on for a 48-47 win over the USA. Both the USA and Japan now have one loss. The point differential in head to head matches favors the USA at plus two.
Japan v Canada
Japan took an early lead and expanded it to 16-8 over Canada by the end of the first quarter. By halftime, Japan increased their lead to 31-19 in a match where passing created numerous scoring opportunities.
By the end of the third quarter the score was 46-31 to Japan, despite Canada’s late surge. Japan finished out the game winning 58-41 over Canada. Japan and the USA each have 3-1 records and look like they will likely be competing for first place on Saturday. Canada has increasingly been more competitive in the invitational, but is still seeking its first win.
Schedule & Results
- May 10: Japan 59-37 Canada
- May 10: USA 64-36 Canada
- May 10: USA 54-51 Japan
- May 11: Canada 45-63 USA
- May 11: Japan 48-47 USA
- May 11: Japan 58-41 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
Tri Nations Rosters
USA Wheelchair Rugby: Athlete Bios
- Chuck Aoki, Minneapolis, MN #5 (3.0)
- Clayton Brackett, Birmingham, AL #21 (2.5)
- Jeff Butler, Austin, TX #6 (0.5)
- Ernie Chun, Phoenix, AZ #8 (2.0)
- Joe Delagrave, Chandler, AZ #14 (2.0)
- Lee Fredette, East Moriches, NY #11 (1.0)
- Joe Jackson, Chandler, AZ #3 (1.0)
- Talbot Kennedy, Atlanta, GA #13 (1.5)
- Chuck Melton, Richview, IL #2 (2.0)
- Alejandro Pabon, Arlington, TX #23 (2.5)
- Tim Vixay, Portland, OR #42 (0.5)
- Josh Wheeler, San Tan Valley, AZ #10 (2.5)
Canada Wheelchair Rugby – Athlete Bios
- Shayne Smith #25 (2.5)
- Brenden Troutman #24 (3.5)
- Michael Whitehead #8 (3.0)
- Cody Caldwell #9 (2.0)
- Kristen Cameron #3 (0.5)
- Patrice Dagenais #12 (1.0)
- Matt Delby #31 (3.0)
- Anthony Letourneau #21 (2.0)
- Yanick Racicot #55 (1.5)
- Eric Furtado Rodrigues #41 (0.5)
Japan Wheelchair Rugby – Athlete Bios
- Masayuki Haga #4 (2.0)
- Kazuhiko Kanno #6 (2.0)
- Daisuke Ikezaki #7 (3.0)
- Kae Kurahashi #3 (0.5)
- Hidefumi Wakayama #1 (1.0)
- Shinichi Shimakawa #13 (3.0)
- Tomaki Imai #9 (1.0)
- Kotaro Kishi #15 (0.5)
- Yukinobu Ike #21 (3.0)
- Seiya Norimatsu #22 (1.5)
- Shin Nakazato #11 (2.5)