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By Disability Sports Australia
In an action packed 2013 National Wheelchair Rugby Championships, the Qld Cyclones arose victorious smashing their way to an unexpected win against Victoria Thunder in a decisive 63 to 48 win at Sydney Olympic Park Sports Centre on Friday night.
Wheelchair rugby is a full contact sport where the chairs and sometimes the players get mangled. There’s a reason why it’s called Murderball and after watching the high impact game you’d think twice about parking in a handicap spot.
Players came from all over Australia and New Zealand, including players from the London 2012 gold medal winning Paralympic team the Steelers, and the New Zealand Wheelblacks.
Even though the Qld Cyclones were not considered favourites for the tournament, this did not stop their thirst for success. Tight teamwork and strategic plays were key to winning.
Queensland star player Chris Bond, this season’s Most Trusted Player, was exceptional, constantly breaking through the opposition’s defence and taking the ball across the
goal line. Chris also represents the Australian Steelers team.
Queensland Cyclones captain Ben Newton was ecstatic with the win.
“It’s a fantastic experience to win this year’s National Championships. It was hard to tell who was going to win as all the teams were incredibly strong and New Zealand was an unknown factor.
Our team performed at their best during the Grand Final which is all that any captain could ask. A great finish to the 2013 season.”
If this event was big on its own it was enhanced by the support of a true Rugby Union legend in the shape of Stirling Mortlock.
“It’s great for me to be the ambassador for the National Wheelchair Rugby Championships. This is truly a unique event which takes the physicality levels to new heights.
Mortlock went on to say, "I played rugby union for 15 years at the highest level but wheelchair rugby is just as tough. Congratulations to all teams for a great tournament.”
The IRB has announced its match officials list for the second stage of the 2014 IRB Junior World Championships overnight, with two Australians appointed to referee two of the games in New Zealand on Sunday.