Team Ireland were in total control earlier today as they overcame host nation Norway at the European Championship Qualifiers

Game three of the World Wheelchair Rugby European Championship Qualifiers 2022 at Skien Sports and Activity Park, Moflatvegen, Norway, seen Ireland take on Norway. The home crowd were out in force and certainly provided a brilliant atmosphere in the arena.

Before the ball was thrown in, a Norwegian player entered the centre circle giving Ireland possession, a gift they took advantage of and scored straight from the off. Ireland’s plan was evident from the outset as they applied good pressure to the Norwegian inbound, forcing four turnovers in the opening minute, racing out to an early 5-0 lead. Ireland gradually stretched that lead over the next four minutes, holding an eight-point advantage with three minutes remaining in the quarter, the score line reading 12-4. The noise being generated by the crowd buoyed the Norwegians into a response and they began to reduce the deficit throughout the closing three minutes, but Ireland held strong and finished the quarter with a 15-9 lead.

Ireland began the second quarter with renewed vigour, applying the press straight from the off, forcing Norway into a succession of turnovers. Ireland scored ten unanswered tries in the first four minutes of the second quarter, something the Norwegians would never come back from. The half ended with Norway only managing to score one try, such was the intensity and strength of the Irish defence. Equally impressive on offence, the Irish extended their lead to 23 points by the end of the half, eventually finishing the half 33-10.

The relentless Irish team started the second half as they finished the first. A much less frantic but extremely measured performance saw Ireland further their advantage throughout the third and fourth quarters. Quarter three ended with Ireland leading 44-13, and team Ireland didn’t let up in the fourth. Far from demoralising the opposition, Ireland simply continued playing as they had begun, showing Norway the respect they deserved by not taking their foot off the pedal and continuing to implement their patterns of play. A commanding win for Ireland in the end, the ‘Wheels in Green’ taking away a 61-16 victory, and a performance that will instil confidence in the team ahead of their group closer against an extremely strong Sweden team.