Semi-finals set up USA, Canada, Australia and Japan

The penultime day of the wheelchair rugby tournament is set to showcase plenty of action as teams run for the gold medal match. 08 Sep 2012
Wheelchair rugby - London 2012

Australian wheelchair rugby team in action at the London 2012 Paralympic Games.

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Saturday (7 September) will also see the remaining four teams fight it out for the 5-8 places.

Following the conclusion of the group matches, the Basketball Arena will witness the semi-finals of the wheelchair rugby competition and a number of other classification matches.

Beijing gold medallists USA will be taking on their fierce rivals Canada in one semi-final, whereas Australia will face Japan.

The Canadians will be looking to avoid a repeat of what happened at the world championships in 2010, when they lost by one point - scored in the final seconds of the match.

“We are ready,” says Canadian captain David Willsie.

“We will have to play our best to beat them. We knew what we will have to do. We know they’re a good team from top to bottom.”

Canada will have to up their game if they are to beat the USA, who has enjoyed comfortable victories in all three of their group matches.

Will Groulx, captain of USA, admits it’s harder to plan for matches against Canada.

“We have tactics for every team, but Canada always brings the game to us,” Groulx said.

“We’re familiar with them, but they’re also familiar with us so it’s going to be a very good match.”

In the other semi-final, Australia will take on Japan. Ryley Batt has scored 96 times in the three games so far, so Japan is sure to have their hands full.

“We can’t afford to worry against Japan,” Batt said.

“We’ve still got to go out there and keep playing how we’ve been playing and to not worry about individual players.

“It’s a team sport, so at the end of the day as long as we score more points than them, we’ll win.”

Japan’s Daisuke Ikezaki was in imperious form against Great Britain and is relishing the opportunity against the number two ranked country in the world.

“They are a similar team to us with a lot of runs,” he said.

“The defence and offensive turnover will be very quick, so we will have to use our tactics to effectively deal with them.”

Saturday (7 September) will also see the remaining four teams fight it out for the 5-8 places. Great Britain will face Belgium and Sweden will take on France, before the two winners compete for 5th and 6th, whilst the two losing teams play for 7th and 8th.