Hat-trick for Collins as England Wheelchair take lead in Ashes series

England Wheelchair earned a 28-84 victory over Australia in the first of their two-game test series against the Wheelaroos.

Jack Brown was England’s talisman in Sydney crossing for five tries, but Leeds Rhinos’ Nathan Collins also scored a hat-trick. Lewis King and Joe Coyd grabbed braces while Sebastien Bechara, Wayne Boardman and James Hazel were all also on the scoresheet in the rout.

A blistering start from Mark Roughsedge’s side saw them score six unanswered tries inside the opening 20 minutes with the first coming inside 60 seconds as King sliced his way through the Australian line.

Boardman would soon power his way over before King doubled his account for the afternoon minutes later. Brown notched his first of the game after 15 minutes before Collins and Bechara increased the lead to 32 points.

Australia made a number of interchanges midway through the half which proved to be the catalyst for a mini revival as Jason Attard, Brad Grove and Cory Cannane all crossed in quick succession to narrow the arrears.

However, two tries from Brown – who completed his hat-trick in the process – before the half-time hooter meant England went into the break with a 16-44 lead.

It was the Wheelaroos who came out of the blocks fastest after the interval with Cory Cannane scoring his second of the evening. But this was almost immediately cancelled out as Collins was again on the scoresheet. His successful conversion saw England hit the half-century.

The Leeds Rhinos man soon joined Brown in completing his hat-trick midway through the half as he surged through a gap in the Australian line. Davin Bretherton went over in the corner for the Wheelaroos on the hour-mark.

England finished the game in fine attacking form scoring five tries in the final 20 minutes. Coyd executed a clever turn on the Australian line before planting the ball down before Brown took his tally to four.

Hazel’s try was an absolute stunner with each England player touching the ball in the process to him collecting an inside ball and gliding over the line.

Brown soon broke from deep and was simply too fast for the Aussie defence taking his count to five for the game. The scoring was finished by Coyd who powered onto a clever inside ball from James Simpson.

England Wheelchair will be looking to complete a 2-0 Ashes Series victory over Australia on Wednesday as they clash at the University of Wollongong.

England: James Simpson, Lewis King, Jack Brown, Tom Halliwell, Wayne Boardman.
Interchanges: Nathan Collins,Joe Coyd, Sebastien Bechara, Ryan Richardson, James Hazel.

Australia: Brad Grove, Cory Cannane, Brett Henman, Craig Cannane, Yarra Ryan.
Interchanges: Shaun Harre, Jason Arrard, Davin Bretherton, Zac Schumacher, James Hill.

England Try-Scorers: King (1,7), Boardman (5), Brown (11, 13, 34, 69, 76), Bechara (15), Collins (36, 46, 56), Coyd (64, 79), Hazel (74)
England Goals: Boardman (4/6), Collins (7/7), Brown (2/3)

Australis Try-Scorers: Attard (18), Grove (24), Cory Cannane (28, 44), Bretherton (60)
Australia Goals: Cannane (4/5)