Wheelchair Rugby fans were treated to a feast of action with the start of a Tri-Nations tournament in Sydney on Wednesday.
In the first-game of the three-day tournament being staged at St Mary's Cathedral Square, No.1 ranked USA beat Paralympic champions Australia 56-43 with Chuck Aoki (16 goals), co-captain Joe Delagrave (14), Derrick Helton (10) and Josh Wheeler (7) inflicting most of the damage. Australia's Ryley Batt notched a game-best 22 goals as the hosts were beaten in front of an estimated 3,000 fans.
After watching Australia take the Paralympic gold medal in London last year, Delagrave said his side is already plotting revenge in Rio and would love nothing more than to keep their 2016 campaign rolling with a Tri-Nations victory this week.
"We got the world No.1 ranking back from Australian in Denmark in June and that was important to us," Delagrave said. "But our rallying cry is the road to Rio, the major goal we want is the gold medal and right now Australia has that. So we don't underestimate them anytime they take the court."
Australian co-captain Jason Lees said USA just did not make mistakes, which made it impossible for his team to mount a fight back in front of their home fans. "That was a tough game," Lees said. "The Americans were way more disciplined than us. Their defence was extremely solid and they just played mistake free."
In the second game, USA made it two wins from two with a 58-40 victory over New Zealand and Australia opened their account in the final game of the day with a 62-48 success against the Kiwis.