Leicester Tigers Wheelchair Rugby got their season underway in the first of three weekends of Super Series Division One fixtures as the team look to win their third title in as many years.
Held in Leicester, the first team qualified for the third/fourth placed play-off missing out on a third placed finish to London Crusaders to collect five points from the weekend.
Tigers qualified for the semi-final from Pool A following convincing wins over West Country Hawks (57-25) and Yorkshire Lions (84-8).
The club suffered their only loss in the Pool stages to West Coast Crash, who took maximum points from the opening three games, as Tigers qualified for the following day’s semi-final against Pool B table toppers London Storm.
Storm however proved too much for Tigers in a match that was end-to-end, but the London team finally chipped away to secure a 50-45 win to set up the third/fourth place play-off.
Just like the Tigers first game, the play-off proved to be a close-run affair with both teams within a few points for the majority of the match. Crusaders forced some crucial turnovers in the final quarters keeping a two-point lead and edging a 53-52 win.
Leicester Tigers and Team GB international Nick Cummins was named the best in class in the first action of the season.
The weekend also saw Belgium international Raf Hendrix, who plays in the 3.0 classification, make his first appearance in a Tigers shirt.
Reflecting on the first weekend of games, Darren Matthews, Tigers head coach, said: “There were some very close games played, in particular the match against London which was within our grasp.
“For our standards, we under-performed, but I believe we improved every quarter though which is the main objective. We will go away and refine our offensive patterns and set-plays.”
With the introduction of new international Raf Hendrix, Darren added: “By the end of the weekend, he had settled in and formed with the players. Personally, I’ve made the decision to use all our players in every game to allow our squad players deserved court time.
“The decision to do that will greatly improve their development and serve us well in the future.”
LTWR are next in action on the weekend of February 1 and 2 as they travel to Stoke Mandeville Stadium in Aylesbury.
See the latest standings below
1 West Coast Crash 10
2 Storm 8
3 Crusaders 6
4 Leicester Tigers 5
5 RGC 4
6 West Country Hawks 3
7 Yorkshire Lions 2
8 Canterbury Hellfire 1