Day One Recap of BT WWRC15 in London
By Nathaniel Holland
The first day of the BT WWRC15 got off to a flyer with both Canada and Great Britain picking up their first wins of the tournament.
With just two games today, it was the highly anticipated clash between USA and Canada to kick start the week writes Nathaniel Holland.
In Pool A, Canada, with the help of star man Zak Madell, managed to be at the right end of a one point win when they just edged out their neighbours 57-58.
In Pool B, host’s Great Britain were dominant in their game against France with a final score of 55-45.
The USA-Canada game was tight affair throughout and both sides went into the half-time interval at 29-29.
There were some huge hits in the opening exchanges, and Patrice Simard caught USA player Josh Wheeler off guard as he hit the floor.
USA pushed their opponents all the way but Canada opened up a four-point lead heading into the final period.
The scores were all even for a brief moment as Chuck Aoki rallied the USA team with minutes remaining, but Kevin Orr’s Canada held on to claim the victory.
In the second game of the evening GB stormed past France, ending the game ten points clear with a 55-45 score.
The stars from both teams, Ayaz Bhuta of Great Britain and Ryadh Sallem of France were in fine form in front of the fans with Bhuta scoring the most points in the game.
The influence of Bhuta and Jim Roberts was too much for Olivier Cusin’s France side as they led at half time 28-19.
GBR coach Paul Shaw gave every member of his squad a chance to impress with nine of the 12 players all getting on the score sheet.
The combination of Alan Ash and Bhuta was causing France problems with the long pass and the pace of Bhuta ending in tries on more than one occasion.
Paul McDerby was given a late chance in the game and he made an instant impact with an assist and try within minutes of coming on court.
Tuesday promises to be even more action packed with five games on the schedule.
New Zealand, South Africa, Australia and Japan will all be playing their first games, whilst GB and USA will be in action again.
Full tournament details can be found at www.wwrc15.com
All games will be webcast and can be seen at www.IWRF.com.