IWRF European Championship Schedule published - hosts meet Ireland on opening day
by Lauri Jaakkola
The schedule for the 2015 IWRF Wheelchair Rugby European Championship is published. Host Finland will meet Ireland on the opening day of the Games, Tuesday 15th September at 6.30 pm, just after the opening ceremony. All 20 matches of the tournament will be streamed live via tournament website.
Ireland secured their place in the A Division finishing second in the B Division European Championship in Prague on April. Ireland played an even match against France in the final of the B Division Euros showing that they should not be underestimated in Pajulahti.
– We’ve already gone from 23rd to 13th in the World rankings and this group of players is capable of producing even better performances, says Stuart McLindon, head coach of Ireland.
With low point John McCarthy (0.5) and high point Thomas Moylan (3.5) named in the All Star team of the B Euros and captain Alan Lynch (1.0) named the MVP of the tournament, Ireland have players that are ready to challenge the best players in Europe. Coach McLindon says they need to have more depth in their squad, though.
– If we are to take our game to the next level we need our bench to be strong and focused. We have talented players on the bench and I believe that by September they will be ready and you will see more variety in our lineups, McLindon says.
Ireland plays in the Group B together with Finland, Germany and Denmark.
– We didn’t mind who we got in the draw as at this level there’s never going to be an easy game. Both groups will be very close.
– Our first target is top 6 to avoid having to qualify for Euro A in 2017. After that we’re looking for a top 2 finish and a place in Rio, McLindon stated.
Finland and Ireland haven’t met each other in few years.
– Finland are strong team that are well coached and technically very good. They played some great rugby at the World Championship last year and we’re looking forward to seeing how we match up with them. While the high point battle will be exciting for the spectators it will be how the low pointers match up that could decide the game, McLindon said.
Tuesday 15th September
- 16.00 Group B, Germany–Denmark
- 18.00 Opening ceremony
- 18.30 Group B, Finland–Ireland
Wednesday 16th September
- 10.00 Group A, France–Belgium
- 12.00 Group B, Germany–Ireland
- 14.00 Group B, Finland–Denmark
- 16.00 Group A, Great Britain–France
- 18.00 Group A, Sweden–Belgium
Thursday 17th September
- 10.00 Group A, France–Sweden
- 12.00 Group A, Great Britain–Belgium
- 14.00 Group B, Ireland–Denmark
- 16.00 Group B, Finland–Germany
- 18.00 Group A, Great Britain–Sweden
Friday 18th September
- 12.00 Placement match, 5–8
- 14.00 Placement match, 5–8
- 16.00 Semifinal
- 18.00 Semifinal
Saturday 19th September
- 10.00 Placement match, 7–8
- 12.00 Placement match, 5–6
- 14.00 Bronze match
- 16.00 Gold match
- 18.00 Banquet