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6 August 2012

New National Champions Crowned in Australia

(Sydney, Australia) In an action packed 2012 National Wheelchair Rugby Championships, the event had an unexpected turn of events. Previous champions GIO NSW Gladiators, who have held the title for 6 consecutive years, had to reluctantly pass the crown to the new champions for 2012 the Jetstar Gold Coast Titans Wheelchair Rugby Team.


All five teams fought valiantly at the 2012 NWRC, with many a rummage during the tournament. It could have been anyone’s victory with a fantastic line up from all the teams.  Also there were several unknown factors with key players such as Ryley Batt, Ben Newton, Scott Vitale and Cody Meakin out with injury. 


Even though the Jetstar Gold Coast Titans Wheelchair Rugby Team had players out with injury, this didn’t stop their thirst for success when they took out the Grand Final in a decisive 64 to 39 win against SA Sharks. The Jetstar Titans were determined that 2012 was going to be their shining year and arose victorious through tight teamwork and strategic plays. Chris Bond, this season’s Most Valuable Player was exceptional, constantly breaking through the opposition’s defence and taking the ball across the goal line.


Second place winners, the SA Sharks were the dark horse for the tournament, with several players coming out of retirement to take the court.  SA Sharks have won previously the National Championships on several occasions and with the on court talent, looked likely to take home the crown. This power team taught their competitors a few new tricks and the meaning of aggressive defence with George Hucks leading the team constantly into the fray. Saturday’s first semi final was incredibly tense where SA Sharks won 71-69 in three sets of overtime.


Overall, it was a devastating loss for GIO NSW Gladiators who as the reigning champions were set for their seventh consecutive championships and they were eager to win this in front of their home crowd.  Unfortunately to rub salt into the wound, the GIO NSW Gladiators didn’t make the semi finals. In a series of close games the tide was set against the previous champion title holders.


The Bronze Medal match was a cliffhanger between Victoria Coloplast Thunder and Enforcers.

Curtis Palmer fought valiantly to close the gap with Nick Peters providing formidable points for the Enforcers. Victoria Coloplast Thunder broke to a clear lead in the last 2 minutes of play and finished the match with a decisive win 55 – 46.


The League Executive would also like to take this opportunity to thank the 2012 NWRC sponsors the Australian Paralympic Committee, Telstra and GIO for their support.  Due to GIO’s generous support we were privileged to host the 2012 NWRC at the internationally esteemed Sydney Olympic Park Sports Centre and broadcasted the National Championships on television.


Congratulations to all the teams for a brilliant 2012 National Wheelchair Rugby Championships” said Esme Bowen, Chair of Australian Athletes With a Disability. “Special thanks to all the players, coaches, officials and volunteers who make wheelchair rugby in Australia possible. It has been a marvellous finish and we’re looking forward to an amazing 2013 season. Finally Good luck to the Australian Steelers at the London Paralympic Games.


- View photos from the Championship


2012 NWRC Awards

2012 NWRC Champions

Jetstar Gold Coast Titans Wheelchair Rugby Team

2012 NWRC 2nd Place

SA Sharks

2012 NWRC 3rd Place

Victoria Coloplast Thunder

2012 NWRC Best Referee

Tom Kyle

2012 NWRC Most Valuable Player

Chris Bond – Jetstar Gold Coast Titans Wheelchair Rugby Team

2012 NWRC Best New Talent

Ben Fawcett – GIO NSW Gladiators

2012 NWRC All Star Four

Curtis Palmer – Enforcers

Sholto Taylor – SA Sharks

Bryce Alman – Victoria Coloplast Thunder

Ryan Scott – Jetsar Gold Coast Titans Wheelchair Rugby Team



2012 NWRC Results

Semi Final 1

SA Sharks



Victoria Coloplast Thunder


Semi Final 2

Jetstar Gold Coast Titans Wheelchair Rugby Team





Bronze Medal

Victoria Coloplast Thunder





Gold Medal

Jetstar Gold Coast Titans Wheelchair Rugby Team



SA Sharks