The GIO NSW Gladiators reclaimed their place as National Champions over the weekend at the GIO Fierce 4 Rugby National Championships. The event was hosted by Disability Sports Australia and supported by Wheelchair Sports NSW.
Despite losing to World #3 Japan in the Gold medal final (NSW 58- 59 JPN), the NSW side did enough to secure both the National League title and National Championships. The Gladiators secured the National league by taking out their first game of the National Championships, defeating Queensland 62-46.
Led by Aussie Steelers’ Andrew Edmondson and Ryley Batt, the Gladiators made their way to the final beating QLD, VIC Thunder, VIC Thunder Lighting and New Zealand, setting up a final against the only team to have beaten them this year, Japan.
Held at Netball NSW’s Headquarters, Netball Central, the event took place over 3 days and brought together some of the best Wheelchair Rugby players in the Oceania Region. The tournament also coincided with the announcement of Sydney winning the bid to host the 2018 International Wheelchair Rugby Federation’s World Championships.
Ryley Batt was named in the tournament All Star 4 and as tournament MVP. Rookie Jake Field also took out the best rookie award, capping off a good first year for the Doonside local.
In the Bronze medal game, New Zealand sneaked it in a tight one over the Suncorp Queensland Cyclones (QLD 51- 53 NZ).
For further information go to the event website www.fierce4rugby.com.au
For replays of all the games head here www.fierce4rugby.com.au/live