France win back-to-back titles in Cardiff; Great Britain and Denmark qualify for Paris 2024
France are the 2023 European champions! The defending champions made it back-to-back titles with a 49-55 win over host nation Great Britain at Principality Stadium in Cardiff.
A nervy start to the game saw high pressure defence from Great Britain force France into two timeouts in the first two plays. Finding a way through, the team in blue had their noses in front at the first quarter break with the scores at 13-14. Early into the second period, a fumbled pass from GB was sized upon by France who were able to convert the turnover and extend their lead to two points. Another significant moment came in the second quarter when GB forced two turnovers to take the advantage in the match. With the scores at 39-39 another wayward GB pass gave France the opportunity to go ahead, which they duly took. A huge hit on GB’s Aaron Phipps forced the crowd favourite to be penalised for an infringement and France turned the game on its head in the final seconds of the third quarter.
From then on they dominated, not letting Great Britain back into the match and extending their lead to an unassailable six tries.
In the bronze medal match Denmark beat Germany 50-53 in a thrilling clash to secure a place on the European championship podium and a ticket to the Paris 2024 Paralympic Games.
In an end-to-end encounter, the scores were level until late into the first quarter when a Leon Jorgensen interception was capitalised on by Denmark who went into the first period 11-13 up. Germany gathered momentum in the second quarter, bringing the scores level. Tries were exchanged until 46-46 when Denmark forced two consecutive turnovers to regain the lead with four minutes to go. Denmark held onto their advantage until the final whistle when they celebrated their bronze medal and qualification for Paris 2024.
Earlier in the day, Switzerland defeated the 42-46 to claim 5th place at the tournament.
Final finishing positions
2. Great Britain
8. Czech Republic
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