As we boarded the bus to the gym the players looked like they had a sense of accomplishment in their faces. They just played four complete games with no substitutions and managed wins against two tough teams and where about to play for 3rd place and a chance to win the bronze medal.
For the second year in a row Edmonton will play against Boise for the bronze medal at the RISE tournament. We have played against each other in almost every US tournament over the last two years with Edmonton winning the last three including two convincing wins over them this season. One in September at the "Slam on the Sound" in Seattle Washington and a lopsided win in November at the "Rumble" in Reno Nevada.
This time around was different because the Steel Wheels had a short bench and Boise’s quad amp was playing like a machine after spending the most of year down in San Diego learning from the veterans of the Sharp team. We knew it was going to be a tough game.
It started as our games usually do. A few unforced errors, a few poorly thrown passes and burning three time outs in the first 6 minutes of the game. We quickly found our backs up against the wall and in a hole down by 7. After rallying the troops we didn’t lose any ground and held on to our final time out until the middle of the second quarter. The game went into the half with the Steel Wheels still down by 7.
Starting the second half everyone dug in deep and came out of the gate fast. Forcing turnovers which caused the Bombers to start arguing with each other which caused them to make mistakes at both ends of the court. We where able to pull with in 2 by the end of the 3rd quarter.
Unfortunately after 4 full games and 3 quarters of ironman rugby we hit the wall!!! Boise’s steady pressure and the speed of the quad amp turned out to be too much in the home stretch. Final score 53-44 for Boise and we finished in 4th place.
Proud of everyone for playing hard and not giving up, for keeping your composure and for winning and losing with grace with no excuses. My hat goes off to the six athletes from Edmonton who made the journey to Irving TX this weekend. You showed grit and determination and what Steel Wheels rugby was all about. Ali your work with the equipment was second to none.We didn’t walk away empty handed though…
Cody won best of class 2.0 and Rob won Most Sportsman Like Player
Great Job goes out to the organizers RISE Adaptive Sports and the crew of Paul, Peanut and Ken for running a great event. I can speak for all of us when I say "It was fun and we are looking forward to getting back home"