RICHMOND, B.C. – Canada clinched a berth in the final at the Canada Cup wheelchair rugby tournament Saturday afternoon with a convincing 53-40 victory over Great Britain, the Paralympic champions in Tokyo last summer.
The Canadians, ranked fifth in the world, improve to four wins and no losses. They will complete the round robin portion of the tournament Saturday against world number-two Japan, also 4-0. Then the two countries will play for gold on Sunday at 1 p.m. local (4 p.m. ET).
Zak Madell led Canada in scoring with 19 points, all in the first half after Canada built a 30-22 lead. Travis Murao scored seven of his 10 points in the third quarter while national team rookie Matt Debly added eight points.
The British knew they were in for a long afternoon, losing the ball on the opening play of the game to allow Madell to scoot into the end zone. Canada capitalized on three more turnovers in the quarter and already led 16-12 after eight minutes.
In the other early game Saturday, Japan defeated Australia 58-42.
The Canada-Japan round robin game goes at 6 p.m. local (9 p.m. ET) Saturday. On Sunday, the gold medal game is preceded by the bronze medal match at 10:30 a.m. local (1:30 p.m. ET).
“Today will be a great dress rehearsal for the final,” said Madell. “We look forward to seeing how all of our lines stack up against Japan’s.”
Canada has never won the gold medal at this tournament, now in its ninth year. This is the first time it’s reached the final since 2014. It was fourth at the last two editions in 2016 and 2018.
“It’s going to be a great opportunity to see how we match up against the #2 team in the world, said Co-Captain, Hirschfield. “We’ve had a strong tournament up to this point and the squad is looking to build on that into the game against Japan.”
All of Canada’s round-robin games as well as the bronze and gold medal matches are being livestreamed on the Canadian Paralympic Committee’s Facebook page and Paralympic.ca as well as CBC Sports digital platforms: the free CBC Gem streaming service, cbcsports.ca, and the CBC Sports app for iOS and Android devices.
To learn more about Canada Cup, visit CanadaCupWCRugby.com. Please visit Paralympic.ca/Paralympic-super-series for more information on the Super Series and follow @CDNParalympics for live updates during the tournament.
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