England win Wheelchair Rugby League World Cup following dramatic victory over France at Manchester Central
England have won the Wheelchair Rugby League World Cup with a 28-24 victory over France at Manchester Central.
Tom Halliwell crossed for a late winning try to see Tom Coyd’s side lift the trophy in front of a record crowd.
The Leeds Rhinos man went over for a brace in the game, as did Jack Brown, who followed-up his fantastic performance in the semi-finals with another great display.
It was France who took an early lead in the game, with Lionel Alazard successfully converting a penalty.
The 40-year-old was also the first try-scorer of the evening, as he crossed the line on the right side just before the 10-minute mark.
England claimed their first of the evening through Halliwell, before Nicolas Clausells re-extended France’s lead.
Just before the break, Jack Brown pulled one back for Coyd’s side, as he produced some superb movement to open-up space for himself.
This came just minutes after he had been denied a try by the referee, who adjudged the finish to be a double movement.
Immediately after the restart, Lewis King put England ahead for the first time.
Not long after, Brown claimed his second of the night to extend the lead to 22-14.
France didn’t trail for long, as they quickly got themselves back into it.
Shortly after a Mostefa Abassi try, Clausells levelled the scores through a penalty.
England took a leaf out of their opponent’s book and opted to take two points of their own when presented with the opportunity.
Nathan Collins was on hand to convert, edging Coyd’s side back in front before the hour mark.
Once again, the lead didn’t last long, as France were awarded two more penalties in quick succession.
Fortunately for England, they could only score the first of their efforts, with the sides drawing 24-24.
During this time, there was also drama off the court, with one of the referees left unhappy with a decision made by his colleague.
With only a few minutes left on the clock, there was time for one last big moment, as space opened-up for Halliwell to drive his way over the line.
This was met with a huge cheer, before another eruption of noise on the full time whistle as England were confirmed World Champions after a stunning game, with 4,526 people watching on.