USA beats NZ in the Wheelchair Rugby Championships 2006

Saturday, September 16, 2006

The United States of America have beaten the New Zealand Wheel Blacks to win the 2006 Wheelchair Rugby Championships, the fourth championship ever held.

The final score was 34-30 at Christchurch, New Zealand's Westpac Stadium. The Americans had led by one point following the first quarter, 9-8, and went into half time with the US leading 16-15, but the lead spaced further apart going into the final quarter, 25-23.

US and New Zealand, the Athens 2004 paralympic champions, had played each other previously in the tournament with US coming out winner 42-34.

Grant Sharman, New Zealand Wheel Blacks coach, said: "The Wheel Blacks did not quite have their 'A game' in the final today and the Americans played extremely well."

US played a near-faultless game of wheelchair rugby, which won them the match.

The defending champions, Canada, finished third place overall by defeating Great Britain 23-19.

The final standings were:

  1. USA
  2. New Zealand
  3. Canada
  4. Great Britain
  5. Japan
  6. Australia
  7. Germany
  8. Belgium
  9. Sweden
  10. Netherlands
  11. Switzerland
  12. Denmark