sports gazette

WWRC15: Batey brings Girl Power to the court

Coral Batey taking on French player Ryadh Sallem (photo by Julia Trinidade)
Published: 13 Oct 2015

Coral Batey blew the crowds away on the first evening of the 2015 BT World Wheelchair Rugby Challenge at the Copper Box Arena.

Batey, the first female to take centre stage in this inaugural wheelchair rugby challenge, may have only been on the court for a short time in comparison with her teammates but her expert decision-making helped contribute towards the 55-45 victory over France.

The tipped player to watch in the GB squad, Ayaz Bhuta, did not disappoint either and at times the game seemed like an individual battle between Bhuta and French player Ryadh Sallem for glory.

But it was not until Batey came onto the scene with her well thought out defensive tactics, that Sallem's non-stop scoring spree could be halted.

It was evident early on that France, who relied heavily on the one-man scoring machine Sallem for much of the game, were going to be outfoxed by a GB team who were strong both offensively and defensively, forcing numerous turnovers and capitalising upon chances that were given to them.

Based on their performance against the French, team GB's future in this competition looks promising as they executed the basics well and demonstrated excellent teamwork throughout the match.

Earlier on in the evening great murderball rivals, USA and Canada, opened proceedings in a very close and tense match with Canada just clinching victory 58-57.

However, had Chuck Aoki of team USA not been sin binned in the very closing moments of the match you got the sense that there would have been a very different final scoreline.

The competition continues at the Copper Box Arena today with team GB facing off against the world champions Australia at 5.30pm

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