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France and Germany seal minor places

Leevi Ylonen in action in the 9th place playoff
Leevi Ylonen in action in the 9th place playoff
courtesy 2014 Wheelchair Rugby World Championship Committee

The lower places at the 2014 wheelchair rugby world championship were decided on Saturday afternoon as Germany and France won the 11th and 9th place playoffs in Odense.

Germany took on Belgium in the 11th place playoff, with both sides looking for their first win of the tournament and it was Germany who found the win to avoid the wooden spoon.

The crucial moment came in the second half as Germany forced turnovers and found an advantage, hitting a 21-19 lead midway through the quarter, a lead they held to the break.

That lead only built for the Germans as they pushed the lead out to seven in the third period, 36-29, leaving Belgium just eight minutes to avoid coming last.

The Germans complete dominated the fourth quarter, with Belgium only able to pick up seven goals in the fourth quarter, which made things easier for Germany as they managed a 50-36 win to claim 11th place, consigning Belgium to 12th. For both teams it marks their worst ever finish, with Belgium dropping out of the top eight at a world championship for the first time.

France took on Finland in the fight for ninth place and it was a tight one, with the sides remaining level at the first quarter break.

Ryadh Sallem, the player to watch for France, came alive in the second quarter as he forced turnovers and scored goals to give France a three goal lead, 21-18, with two to play in the half.

That lead built and pushed out to five at half-time with a 27-22 lead, which ballooned in the third period, making the game all but won with a 12 goal lead, 46-34, with the final quarter to come.

With a 12 point lead it was always going to be too much for Finland as France simply cruised to a 59-48 win to seal ninth place in their first World Championship while 10th for Finland was also their best ever finish at a World Championship, beating their 11th of four years earlier.