Great Britain gave the tournament’s hot favourites a scare at the 2018 Wheelchair Rugby World Championships in Australia, but eventually fell late on to the USA, losing 47-41.

Paul Shaw’s side came into their second match in Sydney off the back of a comprehensive 55-31 victory over Poland, and the six-time European champions started strongly against their American counterparts.

The two nations went point-for-point throughout the first half, with the lead constantly changing hands, and headed into the break level at 22-22.

And the contest remained tight throughout the third quarter, with Great Britain entering the final eight minutes of the match trailing by just two points.

But the USA – four-time winners of the championships and the world’s most successful side – pulled away in the final period, closing the game out professionally to see out the match.

It was a final score that flattered the Americans and somewhat betrayed the effort and quality that GB had demonstrated throughout the match.

For captain Chris Ryan and co the performance will prove particularly encouraging as they hope to challenge for their first World Championship medal.

Fifth at the 2014 tournament in Denmark, Great Britain face Canada, Colombia and France in Pool B.

To advance to the medal matches they must secure a top-two position in the group, and Tuesday’s match against former world champions Canada, which gets underway at 2am UK time, looks to be crucial.

GB then face Colombia later the same day before wrapping up their Pool fixtures against France on Wednesday.

Fixtures (UK time):

Sunday August 5: Poland 31-55 Great Britain

Monday August 6: USA 47-41 Great Britain

Tuesday August 7: Great Britian v Canada (02:00) and Great Britain v Colombia (09:00)

Wednesday August 8: Great Britain v France (07:00)

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