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Wheelchair

1 Oct 2022

Halifax Panthers crowned Betfred Wheelchair Super League champions after Grand Final thriller

Halifax Panthers crowned Betfred Wheelchair Super League champions after Grand Final thriller

Halifax Panthers ended the recent domination of Leeds Rhinos in Wheelchair Rugby League by beating their Yorkshire rivals 52-48 in a breathless Betfred Wheelchair Super League Grand Final in Manchester.

The Rhinos had won all three major trophies since the resumption of the Wheelchair game in 2021 after the 2020 season was lost to Covid, including a double of Challenge Cup and Super League last season.

They retained the Challenge Cup with victory over Catalans Dragons in the summer, but were denied another double by an inspired performance by the Panthers.

Rob Hawkins, who was named Young Player of the Year at the inaugural Wheelchair Rugby League Awards in early 2020 and has since established himself in the England squad, was named Player of the Match for scoring five tries.

Nathan Collins, who hopes to join Hawkins in the England squad for the forthcoming Rugby League World Cup when it is names on Monday, emulated that five-try feat, and was desperately unlucky to finish on the losing side.

“It’s an awesome feeling to be champions again,” Hawkins told Sky Sports after their live coverage of the match. “I was so nervous before this game, I’ve hardly been sleeping.

“I have to pay credit to Leeds for their performance. They’re a great team, which makes it an amazing feeling to have beaten them again.”

England’s World Cup squad will be named on the RFL’s digital channels on Monday, with one player announced every hour from 8am.

They will kick off the Wheelchair Rugby League World Cup against Australia at the Copper Box Arena in London’s Olympic Park on November 3, with the Semi Finals at the English Institute of Sport in Sheffield on November 13, and the Final at Manchester Central on Friday November 18.

With limited capacities for the venues, tickets are selling fast – for further details, go to Rugby League World Cup 2021 (rlwc2021.com)