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Pictures from the first day back are here:  BaaBaas

Photos from earlier PRC rounds are here: Photo Gallery

Fin-ishing first!

The annual Blakiston challenge threw up a new name for the trophy this year.

Previous two time winner Alex Coles was consigned to history as young Fin Smith raced to victory.

The pressure was on Fin  as he had been constantly reminded that his predecessor  in the 10 shirt, Dan Biggar, had taken the trophy on debut. But anything Dan can do......and young Fin sprinted over the finishing line closely followed by George Furbank. Honours to the backs this year!

The lads compete for the honour of blowing the hunting horn - so far not one of them have mastered it - unlike Kitman Kev Buckby who gives a blast to start the race.

Official story here:

Photos are courtesy of Claire Jones

All you’ve ever wanted to know about Murderball but were too scared to ask.....( the first part – more to follow)

Wheelchair rugby was aptly named murderball at its inception.

It’s a rough, tough, all action game for both men and women most with a wide range of disabilities and conditions including fibromyalgia, spinal injuries, amputees, Multiple sclerosis (MS) and cerebral palsy. Played on a basketball court the wheelchair crashes, all action passing and ball carrying add up to one thing – getting the ball over your opponent’s goal line. It was invented nearly 50 years ago in Winnipeg, Canada where they are no strangers to brutal sport – ice hockey being the fight of choice. Unsurprisingly therefore there are elements of ice hockey, along with basketball;; and handball. The basic rules are:

  1. To score you have to carry the ball across your opponents’ goal line .

  2. Two wheels must cross the line for the goal to count and the player must have firm control of the ball when they cross the line.

  3. A game consists of four eight minute quarters – there is a two minute break between quarters and a five minute ceasefire at half time. 

  4. The game is played on a hardwood basketball court marked out with boundary lines, a centre line, a centre circle and two key areas. A standard volleyball is used. 

  5. Teams have 40 seconds to score on each possession.

  6. A player whose team has control of the ball cannot remain in the opposing team’s key for more than 10 seconds. 

  7. The defending team must have no more than three players in the key. 

  8. A player must dribble the ball once every ten seconds.

Wheelchair rugby is a full contact sport and chair contact is encouraged. Player safety is not completely disregarded however, as players cannot strike an opponent’s wheelchair anywhere behind the axle of the rear wheel if it causes the chair to rotate horizontally or vertically.

Physical body contact is not permitted – which might come as a surprise to the casual observer.

If fouls are committed the player is sent to the Sin Bin for a minimum of one minute or the attacking team score a try.

At the end of the game if the score is tied there will be an overtime period of three minute – if this fails to break the stalemate then additional overtime periods will be played until one team wins or one collapses from exhaustion, presumably.

Northampton Saints Supporters Club are proud supporters of the wheelchair teams and encourage anyone to go along to Stoke Mandeville stadium when league action resumes on the 19th August.

More info here:

Photos by Claire Jones Sponsor of the Wheelchair Teams.

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