Woodbridge Wheeled Warriors rugby team play first match

The Woodbridge Wheeled Warriors - (L-R) Alan Fairchild, Martin Saych, Steve Sargeant, Alex Walls, Jo

The Woodbridge Wheeled Warriors - (L-R) Alan Fairchild, Martin Saych, Steve Sargeant, Alex Walls, Joy Elias, Matt Moore, George Collins and Callum Jefferson - Credit: Archant

Woodbridge Rugby Club took another step towards becoming a major contender in UK wheelchair rugby at the weekend.

The Wheeled Warriors played host to Canterbury’s wheelchair rugby team for their first competitive match against an established opposition. Held at Rock Barracks, where the Wheeled Warriors train every week, the teams played two games which resulted in a 59-26 loss for Woodbridge followed by a much narrower 19-18 loss.

Wheelchair Warriors manager Richard Wilding said: “For our first competitive session we expected to learn a lot and all credit to Canterbury they showed us how the game should be played from which we took a lot.

“There is no substitute for game time and we are now much better prepared for training having had our weaknesses exposed. It was nice to see a clear improvement as we learnt from Canterbury.

“The game was also fun and the social afterwards rounded off a great day.”

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Player Joy Elias added: “Those guys knew their stuff and it was an education from basic fitness to game tactics. We have come away from this friendly with a clear wish-list to complete, so Sunday training will benefit from in-game experiences from now on.”

The team, now officially recognised by Great Britain Wheelchair Rugby and registered in GBWR League 3, will play its first league matches in Stoke on Trent next month.

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Coach Martin Saych said: “We’ve a lot of work to do to establish ourselves in this league but with the experience from the Canterbury match, continued support from the Club, sponsor Gressingham Foods and a lot of hard training, we hope to make progress.”

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