Chris Dempster, Glasgow Panthers
“They’re all bigger than any of you, but your team has pace. Just keep the ball moving and you’ll have them”, the captain of the Welsh Team said with a smile. England had broken down just outside Dumfries and we’d started without them. The Welsh team had just beaten us in the opening game, but we felt we’d taken a good game to them so everyone was in a good mood.
Rhett, the captain of the England team, rolled through the door. 15 minutes later we were ready to play again. 7s is a fast paced game and within minutes, with a run down the left side that no one expected, our Winger, Dylan, had put points on the board – this was a clear statement of intent. England soon responded though, dragging us back up to even. The remainder of the first half was close to stalemate, but Scotland had dragged 5 points out of things. With just minutes on the clock they had us inches away from the try line, driving again and again, trying to find a gap in our defence.We pushed them back but they maintained possession, and in the dying seconds a try and a conversion put them in front.
After some stern words we were ready for the second half. England, a little shaken by the first half played defensively, trying to hold onto their lead,but, after Keiran ran the ball past them to take us in front, things changed. Once more we traded tries. Both teams were beginning to tire, neither could hold the lead convincingly, and the game could be anyone’s. It was the dying minutes, and we were behind by two points. We drove down the right side, passing the ball to the Centre and back, focusing all their defensive players to one side, when Keiran passed across the room to Jo on left wing, moving at pace. England had no chance of catching her.
This was Scotland’s first win in Wheelchair Rugby 7s – it won’t be our last. Wheelchair Rugby 7s is a comparatively new sport, and we were honoured to host the first National Wheelchair 7s event in Scotland, to showcase the sport and try to raise awareness. The sport is continuing to develop and is open to everyone, regardless of age, gender or ability. If you would like to come along to a practice or find out more, please find us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Glasgowpanthers/