Great Britain wins European Wheelchair Rugby Championship

Great Britain celebrate their title (Photo: Nate Holland/IWRF)

Great Britain has won their sixth European Wheelchair Rugby Championship as they defeated Sweden for the second straight tournament, winning 49-41 in Koblenz, Germany.

The sixth victory is a new record of European titles for one nation and a phenomenal achievement for the British. Great Britain Wheelchair Rugby had its entire government funding cut, so winning shows the strength of the side, and perhaps with a funded program they could contend at the World Championships in Sydney next year.

It was a tight first half with Sweden matching everything the British threw at them, not letting the defending champions get ahead. That saw Sweden keep the match level and at half-time it was 25-25, with Sweden surprising the world as they kept up with Great Britain.

From there, though, the British started really going for the match, taking it to the Swedes and starting to force turnovers. That saw the champions defend their title again as they won the final 49-41.

In the battle for bronze France made history as they claimed their first ever European championship medal. France managed a 53-48 win over Denmark, getting some measure of revenge for their loss to the Danish in the build up to the tournament.

The home fans were left disappointed by the fifth place playoff as their local rivals, Poland defeated the hosts Germany. Poland managed an impressive victory to claim fifth place after a 46-39.

In the fight to avoid the wooden spoon, it was Ireland who got to leave with some joy, winning a tight one against Finland. Ireland won 52-43, their only win of the tournament, leaving Finland with a winless record.

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