2010WWRC Press Release

Canada Loses Heartbreaker Against Sweden

Canada must win tomorrow against #1-ranked USA to advance to the medal round

Richmond, BC -- There was stunned silence today at the 2010 World Wheelchair Rugby Championships as Team Sweden battled back from a six-point deficit to defeat Team Canada 52-51 in overtime at the 2010 World Wheelchair Rugby Championships. Canada looked to have a win in hand, but a few costly turnovers allowed the Swedes to get back in the game and break the hearts of the standing-room-only crowd.

Sweden, coached by former Canadian national team coach Marco Dispaltro, matched Canada blow for blow in the first quarter thanks to the speed and aggressiveness of Sweden's Tobias Sandberg and Per-Johann Uhlmann. Fans were impressed by the hard-hitting Swedes, who sent an aggressive message to their hosts from the opening whistle.

Towards the end of the second quarter, however, Kelowna's Garett Hickling forced a few turnovers and Canada began to pull away. Patrice Simard, from Quebec City, also made a quiet but important contribution, saving several near-turnovers and stopping higher-classed players from scoring.

Sweden tied the game with two minutes left erasing a six point lead for the Canadians. After missing a last-second chance to score, the game went into the first overtime session of the tournament locked at 48 points. Team Sweden won the overtime tip off, scored the first goal and Canada was never able to force a turnover to even the score. As the buzzer sounded, the crowd of school children, family and friends went silent, save for a small contingent of yellow-
and-blue clad Swedish fans. Team Canada must now defeat the United States Friday night at 7:00 p.m. if they hope to remain in medal contention.

“We had the chance to turn the knife and we let off a bit,” said Canada’s Trevor Hirschfield. “We took our foot off the gas. The competition is so much better now so if you let up the teams catch up to you.”

“It was a really big win…amazing actually,” said Sweden’s Team Captain, Tobias Sandberg. “We’re ranked number six and they’re ranked number three, so every team ranked higher is a big win. One thing we have is heart…that’s why we won today”.

Elsewhere, tenth-ranked Poland beat the fifth-ranked New Zealand Wheelblacks 45-43 in the tournament's most dramatic upset thus far. Yesterday, Poland gained their first-ever win at an international tournament and they continued that momentum with their aggressive play. New
Zealand struggled to find an answer for the height and power of the Polish big men. After the game, a crowd of school children met the Polish team to ask for their autographs and sign a Polish flag they had brought, a gesture that touched the team.

"We’ve played a lot in Europe but we’ve never had attention like this," said Poland’s Piotr Wilamowski. "It is wonderful and exciting for the players. We feel privileged that the students came here and asked for our autographs."

The USA also continued to build momentum with their 65-44 routing of Team Finland. The Finns have given other top teams trouble at this tournament, but the Americans were able to force several turnovers early in the game and never looked back.

Team Canada’s quest to become 2010 world champions on home soil continues when they take on arch-rivals USA on Friday 24th at 7 p.m.

Photographs of today's games are available at http://www.2010wwrc.com/media/media-kit. Please credit BC Wheelchair Sports Association (BCWSA)/Kevin Bogetti-Smith.

À diffuser dès réception
Le 23 septembre 2010

Le Canada encaisse une défaite crève-coeur contre la Suède, et présente maintenant une fiche de 3-1 dans le tournoi à la ronde

Le Canada doit l'emporter demain contre les États-Unis,
première tête de série, pour avancer à la ronde des médailles

Richmond, BC -- L'auditoire a été réduit au silence aujourd'hui au Championnat du monde de rugby en fauteuil roulant de 2010, alors que la Suède est revenue d'un déficit de six points pour battre le Canada 52-51 en prolongation. Apparemment, le Canada avait la victoire assurée, mais plusieurs revirements coûteux ont permis aux Suédois de revenir dans la partie et de briser le coeur de la salle comble qui assistait au match.

La Suède, entraînée par l'ancien entraîneur national d'Équipe Canada, Marco Dispaltro,a répondu coup pour coup au Canada pendant le premier quart, grâce à la vitesse et à l'agressivité de leurs joueurs étoiles Tobias Sandberg et Per-Johann Uhlmann. Les fans ont été impressionnés par ces Suédois dont le jeu rude a envoyé un message agressif à leurs hôtes dès le coup d'envoi du match.

Cependant, vers la fin du deuxième quart, Garett Hickling, de Kelowna, a réussi à provoquer plusieurs revirements, si bien que le Canada a commencé à se détacher. Patrice Simard, de Québec, a également apporté tranquillement sa précieuse contribution, récupérant plusieurs ballons presque perdus, et empêchant des joueurs de classification élevée de marquer.

Mais la Suède a égalisé à la marque alors qu'il ne restait que deux minutes à jouer, effaçant ainsi une avance de six points des Canadiens. Après avoir manqué une dernière chance de marquer à la dernière minute de jeu, la partie est allée en prolongation alors que le pointage était égal 48 partout. La Suède a remporté le coup d'envoi de la prolongation et marqué le premier but, et le Canada n'a jamais été capable de provoquer un revirement pour revenir à la
marque. Au coup de sirène final, tout le monde était silencieux, aussi bien la foule d'écoliers, que les parents et amis des joueurs, mis à part un petit contingent de supporters suédois habillés en bleu et jaune. Et maintenant, Équipe Canada doit absolument battre les États-Unis, demain soir à 19 h 00, pour espérer rester en lice pour les médailles.

«Nous avons eu l'occasion d'enfoncer le couteau dans la plaie, mais nous ne l'avons pas fait», précise Trevor Hirschfield, un joueur canadien. «Nous avons enlevé notre pied de l'accélérateur. Mais le niveau est tellement élevé maintenant que si on ralentit un peu, vos adversaires vous rejoignent.»

«C'était vraiment une grosse victoire pour nous ... étonnante, en fait» explique le capitaine suédois, Tobias Sandberg. «Nous étions classés numéro six, tandis qu'ils étaient numéro trois. Battre une équipe classée mieux que vous est toujours une grosse victoire. Nous avons beaucoup de coeur..... et c'est pour ça que nous l'avons emporté aujourd'hui.»

Dans les autres matches, la Pologne, classée 10e, a battu par 45 à 43 les Wheelblacks de la Nouvelle-Zélande, ce qui est la plus grosse et étonnante surprise du tournoi jusqu'à présent. Hier, les Polonais obtenaient leur première victoire à un tournoi international, et ils ont poursuivi sur leur lancée en présentant un jeu agressif. La Nouvelle-Zélande a eu du mal à trouver une solution pour contrer la taille et la puissance de Per-Johan Uhlmann. Après la
partie, une nuée d'écoliers a envahi le terrain pour demander des autographes aux joueurs polonais et leur faire signer un drapeau polonais qu'ils avaient apporté, geste qui a beaucoup touché l'équipe.

«Nous avons beaucoup joué en Europe, mais nous n'avons jamais fait l'objet d'autant d'attention» a avoué le Polonais Piotr Wilamowski. «C'est magnifique et très excitant pour les joueurs. C'est pour nous un privilège de voir que tant d'écoliers sont venus nous encourager et nous demander des autographes.»

De leur côté, les États-Unis ont continué leur domination en écrasant la Finlande par 65 à 44. Les Finlandais avaient causé du fil à retordre aux meilleures équipes du tournoi, mais les Américains ont pu provoquer plusieurs revirements dès le début du match, et ils n'ont jamais perdu leur large avance.

Vous pouvez visionner des photos des parties d'aujourd'hui à l'adresse suivante : http://www.2010wwrc.com/media/media-kit. Nous remercions la BC Wheelchair Sports Association (BCWSA) et Kevin Bogetti-Smith.

FLASH QUOTES

SWE 52 CAN 51

 Canada Team head coach Kevin Orr: We kind of backed off the gas there a little bit at the end. When you do that against a good quality team like all the teams are here it can turn on you.

 We play as a team and to me Sweden just made the plays they needed to at the end. We can’t put it on our guys. We had an experienced line out there. They made a few mistakes but it’s not on one line we put out there. We try to use that bench and go as deep as we can.

 Sweden just played better than we did. To me if we continue to play our game, and we look past this game now and look toward the game with the Americans then we can look to the semi-final game.

Canada Team co-captain Dave Willsie (#14) :We’ve got a lot of veteran players on this team and the young kids, they’ve got the swagger too. We enjoy playing against the Americans. Coming out tomorrow it’s not going to be a challenge to get pumped up. We’re going to come out flying. We plan on beating them anyway.

Canada Team player Trevor Hirschfield (#10): We gave up the lead. We had the chance to turn the knife and we let off a bit. We took our foot off the gas a bit. The competition is so much better now so if you let up the teams catch up to you.We knew they would come out strong. They’ve been giving a lot of teams trouble in the tournament. Today is said and done and what’s happened, happened and we have to focus on tomorrow.

 Sweden team captain Tobias Sandberg (#6): It was a really big win. Amazing actually. We’re ranked number 6 and they’re ranked number 3, so every team ranked higher is a big win. We just play our game. One thing we have is heart. That’s why we won today.

 Sweden head coach Marco Dispaltro (former member of Canada Team coaching staff): Ever since I took over this program I have been telling these guys that the sky is the limit. I still love Canada, I still love my country but I am here with Sweden, and Sweden is my country today.

USA 65 FIN 44

Finland Team player Jukka Parviainen (#7): We played a very good game yesterday against Canada and we prepared for this game the same way. We will try to look at how we were successful in this game and the games before to prepare for tomorrow.

 USA Team player Derrick Helton (#13): It’s a strong team but they don’t have the depth to run with us. We’ve got 12 men running and they only have eight. So they’re a bit of a weak opponent when it comes down to it.

POL 45 NZL 43

Poland Team player Piotr Wilamowski (#1): It was very good rugby today. I am very excited and the whole team is excited about this victory. We needed it. We’ve played a lot in Europe but we’ve never had attention like this. It is wonderful and exciting for the players. We feel privileged that the students came here and asked for our autographs. Before we started the game we talked just about winning. We will fight in our next game against Japan.

New Zealand Team player Cameron Leslie (#1): We would have loved to have brought it home. We should have done it. We came out there knowing what they could do and not taking them lightly at all. They brought their game and I guess we should have matched them a bit more. We’ll talk about moving on to the next game with Australia.

BEL 50 ARG 32

Belgium Team Player Ludwig Budeners (#12): We have so much experience. It was pretty easy. But we didn’t want to choke them. Let’s play our game and play it hard and let them play rugby. But in the end I was not focused any more and I did many mistakes. But it was fun. The next game is against Japan. It’s all or nothing.

Argentina Team Captain Juan Francisco Foa (#5): We are just improving game after game. We made more goals than before. We are happy we have the tough teams every single game, but that is good. We are gaining a lot of experience and we are improving a lot. We know how to play rugby. We just have to learn more and how to hit more.