Australia Overcomes Team USA In Wild Wheelchair Rugby Final
Start writing a post

Australia Overcomes Team USA In Wild Wheelchair Rugby Final

It took two overtime periods and a hard-hitting match on both sides to decide a winner.

Australia Overcomes Team USA In Wild Wheelchair Rugby Final

One of the final events of the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games, Wheelchair Rugby, culminated in the gold medal match between USA and Australia. Eight countries, Brazil, France, United States, Canada, Australia, Japan, Great Britain, and Sweden, battled for gold from September 14th to September 18th. Both Australia and the US went 3-0 in through group play (Australia in Group A, USA in Group B). Team USA defeated Canada in the semifinals 60 to 55. USA was led by Head Coach, James Gumbert, and Captain, Chuck Aoki, who scored 34 points. Australia surpassed Japan, 63 to 57, to advance to the finals. They were led by Head Coach, Brad Dubberley, and high scoring performances by Ryley Batt (34 goals) and Chris Bond (20 goals).

Australia and USA met in the finals on Sunday, September 18th. Australia looked to repeat their Paralympic gold in 2012 while the United States looks to improve upon their Bronze finish in London.

In the gold medal match, Team USA started out strong, winning the jump ball and scoring first with a solid goal by #5 Chuck Aoki. Australia then responded with a goal by Andrew Harrison. Quick goals followed from Aoki and #3 Ryley Batt to keep the game tied. Back and forth scoring continued throughout the first quarter, ending with a score of 12-12. USA held the lead or a tie for much of the first period with Aoki scoring five times. Josh Wheeler scored once in the opening quarter, tying the game at 12. Australia kept pace with six goals from Batt who gave them their first lead seven minutes into the game. Earlier in the first period, Kory Puderbaugh added a goal for USA with so much momentum that he tipped his chair over after scoring!

The second quarter started out with another Ryley Batt goal for Australia. Teammate, Chris Bond was soon penalized for striking Josh Brewer from behind to prevent a goal. Brewer took advantage of the 4 on 3 with a goal for Team USA. USA followed from behind throughout the second period with Australia rarely giving up the lead. The first major misstep by either team happened two minutes into the second quarter when Josh Brewer mishandled the ball and was smashed by Batt for a turnover. USA was able to bring the game within one point at the end of the first half thanks to three late goals by Eric Newby. A strong quarter from Batt and Bond of Australia, dubbed the "killer B's" by the announcer, who combined for 14 goals in the second period to keep them ahead 26 to 25.

Just like the first period, Team USA started off the scoring in the third with Australia keeping pace. After a minute and a half of back and forth play, Chad Cohn intercepted a Ryley Batt pass leading to a Kory Puderbaugh goal. Team USA kept the upper hand throughout the third period but almost took complete control with just under two minutes remaining. Batt looked like he was coming in to score but was stripped by Aoki. Aoki couldn't control the ball which went straight to Chris Bond who took it in for the tying goal. The third period ended at 37-37 with Aoki adding five and Josh Wheeler coming on strong with three goals for the US squad. Batt and Bond added five and three respectively.

Into the last period of regular time, the teams looked even as Australia led the back and forth scoring to start. Chuck Aoki countered later on for Team USA as he cut several times into the corner of the goal for a score. At 42-41 the US had a chance to tie but a pass from Chuck Melton to #12 Cohn was too high and went out of bounds. Batt countered with a score and Australia nearly didn't let go of the lead. In the seventh minute of the fourth period the US team regained control. With Josh Brewer back in the game, he scored back to back points with two clutch passes by Aoki. That same pair tied it up again at 49-49 with just 2.8 seconds left in regular time. The score remained tied after the 2.8 seconds so the gold medal match moved on to overtime.

The pair of Brewer and Aoki powered Team USA in the three-minute period of overtime. A quick pass from Brewer to Aoki gave them the lead at 50-49. Brewer and Aoki matched "the killer B's" of Australia resulting in a 54-53 USA lead with 15 seconds left. Ryley Batt tried to finesse it in for the tie but was blocked by #11 Seth McBride. Batt dished the ball off to Bond who powered through Aoki and Jason Regier for the score. This ran the clock off leading to a second overtime period tied at 54.

Josh Brewer won his third jump ball of the match to kick off the second overtime period but this one couldn't be contained by Team USA. Ryley Batt immediately took advantage, putting Australia up by 1 with his astounding 25th goal of the game. Quick back and forth play ensued again with another goal by Batt, two by Chris Bond, and one each for USA from Brewer, Aoki, Melton and Wheeler. Batt then put Australia up by 1 at 59-58. With 15 seconds remaining, Chuck Aoki attempted to control the clock to tie up the game, but he was squeezed into the back corner and forced to call a timeout. When play resumed Melton attempted a scoring pass to Wheeler, but Wheeler had already crossed the goal line before catching the ball. This resulted in a turnover to Australia. With three seconds remaining Australia held on to win 59-58 in double overtime.

The full video of the gold medal match can be found here with highlights below.

Gold - Australia

Silver - USA

Bronze - Japan

Top Scorers:


Chuck Aoki - 21

Josh Brewer - 11

Kody Puderbaugh - 10


Ryley Batt - 27

Chris Bond - 21

Andrew Edmondson - 5

Note: Athletes playing Wheelchair Rugby in the Paralympics must have some form of disability afflicting both their upper and lower extremities. Many are partial quadriplegics or amputees. Each athlete is classified based on the level of their disability ensuring a level playing field. Unlike other Paralympic sports, all of the different levels are on the same playing field. Regardless of their classification or disability, every athlete is hit, thrown, and smashed making this one of the hardest hitting sports in the world let alone the Paralympics. This intense action was more than evident throughout the tournament. Read here for more detail on this amazing sport.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
Health and Wellness

Exposing Kids To Nature Is The Best Way To Get Their Creative Juices Flowing

Constantly introducing young children to the magical works of nature will further increase the willingness to engage in playful activities as well as broaden their interactions with their peers


Whenever you are feeling low and anxious, just simply GO OUTSIDE and embrace nature! According to a new research study published in Frontiers in Psychology, being connected to nature and physically touching animals and flowers enable children to be happier and altruistic in nature. Not only does nature exert a bountiful force on adults, but it also serves as a therapeutic antidote to children, especially during their developmental years.

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

5 Simple Ways To Give Yourself Grace, Especially When Life Gets Hard

Grace begins with a simple awareness of who we are and who we are becoming.

Photo by Brooke Cagle on Unsplash

If there's one thing I'm absolutely terrible at, it's giving myself grace. I'm easily my own worst critic in almost everything that I do. I'm a raging perfectionist, and I have unrealistic expectations for myself at times. I can remember simple errors I made years ago, and I still hold on to them. The biggest thing I'm trying to work on is giving myself grace. I've realized that when I don't give myself grace, I miss out on being human. Even more so, I've realized that in order to give grace to others, I need to learn how to give grace to myself, too. So often, we let perfection dominate our lives without even realizing it. I've decided to change that in my own life, and I hope you'll consider doing that, too. Grace begins with a simple awareness of who we are and who we're becoming. As you read through these five affirmations and ways to give yourself grace, I hope you'll take them in. Read them. Write them down. Think about them. Most of all, I hope you'll use them to encourage yourself and realize that you are never alone and you always have the power to change your story.

Keep Reading... Show less

Breaking Down The Beginning, Middle, And End of Netflix's Newest 'To All The Boys' Movie

Noah Centineo and Lana Condor are back with the third and final installment of the "To All The Boys I've Loved Before" series


Were all teenagers and twenty-somethings bingeing the latest "To All The Boys: Always and Forever" last night with all of their friends on their basement TV? Nope? Just me? Oh, how I doubt that.

I have been excited for this movie ever since I saw the NYC skyline in the trailer that was released earlier this year. I'm a sucker for any movie or TV show that takes place in the Big Apple.

Keep Reading... Show less

4 Ways To Own Your Story, Because Every Bit Of It Is Worth Celebrating

I hope that you don't let your current chapter stop you from pursuing the rest of your story.

Photo by Manny Moreno on Unsplash

Every single one of us has a story.

I don't say that to be cliché. I don't say that to give you a false sense of encouragement. I say that to be honest. I say that to be real.

Keep Reading... Show less
Politics and Activism

How Young Feminists Can Understand And Subvert The Internalized Male Gaze

Women's self-commodification, applied through oppression and permission, is an elusive yet sexist characteristic of a laissez-faire society, where women solely exist to be consumed. (P.S. justice for Megan Fox)

Paramount Pictures

Within various theories of social science and visual media, academics present the male gaze as a nebulous idea during their headache-inducing meta-discussions. However, the internalized male gaze is a reality, which is present to most people who identify as women. As we mature, we experience realizations of the perpetual male gaze.

Keep Reading... Show less

It's Important To Remind Yourself To Be Open-Minded And Embrace All Life Has To Offer

Why should you be open-minded when it is so easy to be close-minded?


Open-mindedness. It is something we all need a reminder of some days. Whether it's in regards to politics, religion, everyday life, or rarities in life, it is crucial to be open-minded. I want to encourage everyone to look at something with an unbiased and unfazed point of view. I oftentimes struggle with this myself.

Keep Reading... Show less

14 Last Minute Valentine's Day Gifts Your S.O. Will Love

If they love you, they're not going to care if you didn't get them some expensive diamond necklace or Rolex watch; they just want you.


Let me preface this by saying I am not a bad girlfriend.

I am simply a forgetful one.

Keep Reading... Show less
Student Life

10 Helpful Tips For College Students Taking Online Courses This Semester

Here are several ways to easily pass an online course.

Photo by Vlada Karpovich on Pexels

With spring semester starting, many college students are looking to take courses for the semester. With the pandemic still ongoing, many students are likely looking for the option to take online courses.

Online courses at one time may have seemed like a last minute option for many students, but with the pandemic, they have become more necessary. Online courses can be very different from taking an on-campus course. You may be wondering what the best way to successfully complete an online course is. So, here are 10 helpful tips for any student who is planning on taking online courses this semester!

Keep Reading... Show less
Facebook Comments