Canada opens with loss at wheelchair rugby world championships

Canada opened its campaign at the GIO 2018 IWRF Wheelchair Rugby World Championships on Sunday

Canada opened its campaign at the GIO 2018 IWRF Wheelchair Rugby World Championships with a tough loss on Sunday, falling 51-42 to France. 

It was the first time Canada had ever faced France in international competition. The French, ranked No. 7 in the world, earned a seventh-place finish at the Rio Paralympic Games two years ago. 

“Obviously, it’s not the result we expected,” said head coach Patrick Cote after the match. “We lacked energy at the start of the game and dug ourselves a big hole within the first few minutes, that we never managed to get out of.”

Canada, who finished fourth at Rio 2016, is competing in Sydney with a mixed team of veterans and rookies. Half of the athletes on the 12-member team are competing in their first world championships, while five players have Paralympic medals to their name. 

“I’m expecting the team to get together and support each other better,” said Cote. “We are in control of how we show up tomorrow (against Poland). Nobody else is going to say sorry for us, so we need to put our heads up and go again tomorrow.”

The Canadians will look to rebound Monday against Poland in Sydney, Australia. The game will be broadcast live on cbcsports.ca and the CPC’s Facebook page at 2 a.m. ET.