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N.E.W.S 2010 Report

National Electric Wheelchair Sports (N.E.W.S) Report

On the 11th of April 2010 the Victorian Pride Warriors travelled to Narrabeen NSW to compete in the 25th Anniversary of the National Electric Wheelchairs Sports (N.E.W.S).  Our team consisted of Coach, Hans Boers, Captain/Assistant Coach Andrew Brandreth, Vice Captain, Chris Green, Jamie McBryde, Luke David, Jules North-Coombs and Michael Deayton. Our two emergencies, Michael Murdaca and Joshua Rycken represented ACT at the games giving them the opportunity to gain valuable experience.

The first day of the competition began with the opening ceremony and some speeches during which Hans Boers was presented with a special gift for his contribution to the sports.  Hans has not missed a game in the 25 year history of the Nationals. The hockey round robin began with some fierce competition. Victoria played well with a strong performance against WA. The match of the day however was against reigning champions NSW. As in the past the game was close. With excellent coaching and great teamwork we were able to dominate the centre and take full control of the game to win 5-3 and ending the day undefeated.

The second day was the Rugby round robin. Once again it was WA, NSW and Vic fighting for a spot in the finals. A close and exciting win against WA (22-20) which is a tough team boosted our confidence however the giants of rugby, NSW, were still undefeated and it was time for us to take on the best in the business.  The intensity of the match was unlike any we have ever played with the lead changing several times and NSW taking the lead at half time. Victoria kept up a solid defence and managed to gain momentum which inspired us to a whole new level of rugby never seen before by Victoria. A try in the last minute meant we took the lead and with only 30 seconds left it was either do or die. We played our very best and held out to win 32/28. Easily the most exciting game we have ever played in rugby and one of my proudest moments in NEWS. Day 2 ended with the Vic team still undefeated.

On the 3rd day we played our soccer round robin matches.  Our two main threats were WA and NSW. WA proved to be strong opponents but we were able hold them back to win 3-2. Now it was only NSW who stood in the way of Victoria being undefeated for the whole round robin competition.   The game started off badly with Andrew tipping his chair after a collision.   Victoria struggled to make an impact on the game losing to NSW 4-0.    Day 3 ended with Victoria making it into all 3 grand finals with only one loss in the whole round robin competition.

Friday was a free day so our team went to the local RSL for a team bonding lunch where Andrew remained undefeated in pool. We spent the rest of the day talking strategies for the Grand Finals on Saturday. Later that night the All Australian Team played the All Stars. It is always a great honour to be selected for the teams and once again Victoria was strongly represented in both sides. Andrew Brandreth and myself were selected in the All Australian team with Hans as the coach. Jamie, Chris and Jules were selected for the All Stars team. Tim McNeil and Oliver North Coombes provided some very entertaining commentary for the matches and Rick Rycken provided the music. The All Australian team won all 3 games in what was a very relaxed and fun filled night.

The day of the finals had finally arrived with Victoria up against our old foes NSW in all 3 Grand Finals. Our first game for the day was hockey. Victoria is traditionally good at hockey winning the title 20 out of 24 times but we had lost the trophy last year and we were determined to bring it back. We knew we had to fix our centre control and make the most of our possession. We showed our superiority in the game and rarely lost control winning 5-3. The Victorian Pride Warriors were the champions of hockey and the trophy was going back to where it belonged. Now it was time to concentrate on our greatest challenge Rugby. Victoria has struggled in rugby in the past but has now become a force to be reckoned with. However we started off badly in the final conceding the first few tries. We looked to be flat and inexperienced compared to NSW and failed to keep the same impenetrable form of a few days earlier. We tried our best to gain control in the 2nd half of the game scoring a few tries but it wasn’t enough and we lost 28-12. We were very disappointed with our performance in the finals but encouraged by how we played in the round robin we are confident that next year will be a different story.  Our final game for the day was Soccer. We had to bounce back from our loss in rugby and we were aiming to win the soccer title 2 years in a row. The first half of the game was as tight as it can get, both defenses were excellent with a score of 0-0 at the end of the 1st half. NSW were the first to score in the 2nd half but we hit back with a quick goal. After a tense few minutes of going back and forth NSW were able to score another 2 goals. This signaled the end for Victoria with time running out NSW won the title 3-1, another disappointing loss for Victoria.

The games were over and it was time to celebrate with a special 25th Anniversary dinner and the presentation of awards.  The Victorian Pride Warriors came 1st in the Hockey and second in Rugby and Soccer.  We were also presented with the coveted Roger Melnyk trophy for being the best performing team in the round robin. After 8 long years the Roger was coming home!  The winner of the Victorian Best and Fairest was Andrew Brandreth. Later that evening Andrew made a moving speech on behalf of all the state players honouring all past and present players and thanking all those involved in the sports over its 25 year history.

In concluding this report the players would like to thank our sponsors Pride Australia and Motion Wheelchairs for their generous support.  Thank you also to our Coach Hans Boers, Assistant coach Andrew Brandreth, Team Manager, John Green, Photographer Bill McBryde and our parents, carers and volunteers for your dedication and encouragement.  Without you and all the hard work behind the scenes this would not be possible.  Competing in the nationals is a great honour and we hope we have made you proud.  Winning 15 out of 18 games is a remarkable achievement; our goal is to do even better next year.

Bring on 2011!





Balloon Soccer Victoria New South Wales South Australia
Hockey New South Wales Victoria Western Australia
Rugby (Touch) New South Wales Victoria Western Australia

Victoria Best and Fairest:

Andrew Brandreth

All Australian Team:

Andrew Brandreth (Captain), Luke David, Hans Boers (Coach)

All Stars Team:

Jamie McBryde, Chris Green and Jules North-Coombes

By Luke David