England captain Tom Halliwell hailed his “special” side after they advanced to the Wheelchair Rugby League World Cup final against France on Friday by demolishing Wales 125-22 in Sheffield.
Jack Brown wheeled over eight times in his player-of-the-match performance as England reached three figures for the third time in the tournament. Seb Bechara scored four tries and Joe Coyd a hat-trick, while Robert Hawkins, Lewis King, Nathan Collins, Declan Roberts and James Simpson also got their names on the scoresheet.
Wales crossed the whitewash once in the first period thanks to Scott-Trigg Turner, but three more tries from Stuart Williams, Gary Preece and Alan Caron could not deny rampant England, while Preece was sin-binned late on as they were dumped out of the tournament.
👊 INTO THE @RLWC2021 FINAL!
— England Rugby League (@England_RL) November 13, 2022
England will next face France after they defeated Australia 84-40 in the earlier semi-final, with Halliwell bidding to win a trophy which has so far evaded him.
Halliwell told a press conference: “It’s the one trophy I have not won yet, I’ve won everything else in the game apart from a World Cup.
“That’s extra motivation for me, but I’m just privileged to do it with a bunch of staff and players that we have got.
“I think this team is special, it’s very special, I love all the blokes that are involved in there and everyone that’s been involved in the set-up.
“It feels good, we set out a plan to get to a World Cup final and hopefully win it and we have ticked every box so far, but we have a big week of preparation to come, up against a good France side.
Halliwell was full of praise for team-mate Brown.
“He could share them (the tries) out a bit I think,” he joked.
“I was pushing on his inside a lot and he was saying no, but, jokes aside, he’s a world-class player, a world-class bloke and that’s what we pride ourselves on at England, having good people around us on and off the field as well.”
Wales coach Stephen Jones was proud of the way his side continued to battle throughout the contest and for reaching the semi-finals of a World Cup.
Wheelchair | Cadair Olwyn🏴
— Wales Rugby League (@WalesRugbyL) November 13, 2022
He said: “The boys and girls out there today have done themselves so proud.
“It’s been a privilege to be with them, they have definitely earned the red shirts they have been wearing today.
“They had some great moments. It was always going to be a tough battle against England. We knew that coming into the tournament and we knew that from watching video analysis coming into today, so you can’t really knock the players for what they have done.
“We were a bit scrappy in the first half, but second half we played our style of rugby and we thoroughly enjoyed that game, and that’s what this sport is about.”