Super Series 2 Division One
2018/19 – Write Up
The past weekend (26th/27th January) was the second instalment for the GBWR Division 1 Super Series, held at the familiar Stoke Mandeville Stadium. Both our London teams, Crusaders and Storm, would be pushing hard to improve our table positions and first weekend results of second and fourth.
The Saturday has three pool games for each team. Crusaders were confident with their first match up was against newly promoted Yorkshire Lions. After taking an early lead Cru had the opportunity to run lines we wouldn't usually and it made for some extra fun interesting wheelchair rugby. The end result was a Crusaders win 62 – 37. At the same time on court two Storm faced Solent Sharks and pulled ahead to win by a twenty point lead 60-40.
We switched opponents for the second pool game and both our teams had similar results albeit different goal difference. Storm charged ahead against Lions winning 65-40. Crusaders took an early lead and increased to take the win over Sharks 59-31.
Third pool game and we faced each other. Crusaders vs Storm is always a good game us, although we train together it's interesting to see how individuals and the teams as one perform under a truly competitive environment. The match didn't disappoint, the teams pushed each other and was Crusaders that took the victory 46-40.
Onto Sunday and it was to be a tough crossover game for both London teams. Crusaders faced West Coast Crash and the agility of their top players is always a challenge. Cru put in a solid performance and dealt with the challenge winning 48-39. The crossover for Storm put them against the current table leaders Leicester Tigers. Who have a depth of knowledge being coached by Rob Tar and Darren Matthews both veterinarians of the sport. The Tigers ran with an early lead that slowly increased beating Storm 56-40.
So for the finals and again we switched opponents. Storm up against Crash for third or fourth, I didn't get a chance to see Storm's matches and this was the one I missed the most. It looked to be close and a good battle but by the third quarter Crash were holding the lead then gradually increased it to five winning 49-44. The final for first and second had Crusaders face Tigers. I don't feel we came out with the confidence it takes to beat the Tigers, a few mistakes early on and it's hard to keep your head up. The Tigers played well and put in a solid effort to beat Crusaders 39-49. I have to say with both these finals I do enjoy seeing the GB Elite players go against each other, both past and present. The best of the best in a combination of experience and youth.
Overall... both London teams take the same position as the first Super Series, Storm in 4th and Crusaders 2nd. As I said before, room for progression but... I do feel we have improved. Playing as a team and smoother for it. I think a good team can make this sport look easy, but when that team comes up against an equally good team, that's when you've got awesome Wheelchair Rugby.
A massive thank you to GBWR and all volunteers, officials, refs, teams you name it we are grateful. We shall see you all up in Leicester for the third and final Super Series of the 2018/19 season.