(RICHMOND, BC – June 24) After winning a tough battle against Great Britain earlier in the day, Canada fell against Japan (#3) to go 2-1 at the 2016 Canada Cup International Wheelchair Rugby Tournament.
Though Canada took an early lead, Daisuke Ikezaki and Yukinobu Ike forced several Canadian turnovers to keep the lead see-sawing. At the half, Canada held a narrow 30-29 lead.
In the second half, however, Canada made some costly mental errors and found themselves behind 47-45 at the end of the third. Though the Canadians regrouped and began trading goals with the fast Japanese team, they were unable to force any turnovers. Japan won the game 57-55.
“We know why Japan is ranked #3 in the world,” said head coach Kevin Orr. “Coming off their tough loss to the USA, they fought and battled for every single point.”
“For us to win in Rio, we need to see what works and what doesn’t. Obviously we tried some things that didn’t work, and that ended up costing us the game.”
Tomorrow, Canada plays Switzerland (#14) at 2:30 pm and Australia (#4) at 7 pm. Their Canada Cup campaign will conclude with a grudge match against their rivals, the USA. Because of the round robin format, it is still possible for Canada to win a gold medal if they beat both Australia (#4) and the USA (#2).
The 2016 Canada Cup International Wheelchair Rugby Tournament runs until Sunday at the Richmond Olympic Oval. The tournament webcast is powered by ViaSport and is available at viasport.ca.
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