By David Gold at the Basketball Arena on the Olympic Park in London 

Ryley Batt_April_20April 19 - Australia have won the International Invitational Wheelchair Rugby Tournament here tonight with a 71-48 victory over Britain.

The result sends out a message to their rivals ahead of the Paralympic Games this summer, where they hope to improve on the silver medal they picked up in Beijing four years ago.

Britain got off to a fast start with an early point, but Australia's response was swift, taking a 2-1 lead within a minute.

Aaron Phipps (pictured below, left) was in superb form for Britain, and was involved in the best of their play.

Britain rued that Australia's Ryley Batt (pictured above), who missed the game between the two countries at the start of the day's play which Britain won 52-51, was playing, as he proved a constant menace.

Australia went in 22-20 ahead after a tight first period in which there was never more than two points between the two sides.

Australia began to move clear in the second period though, quickly going 27-22 ahead, while Phipps was in the wars after being knocked to the floor, which was neither the first nor the last time he had to be lifted back onto his wheelchair during the match.

Aaron Phipps_20-04-12
The Aussies continued to turn the screw as they forced Britain back in the second period, stretching the lead to 35-25 and then 42-28 by half time as the hosts struggled to keep up.

Britain continued to battle, but could not reduce the arrears in the third period, which ended 54-38.

With Australia's victory inevitable, the edge went out of the game in the final period, though some hefty challenges were still put in during the closing stages.

Phipps ended up Britain's top scorer with 33 points, with Batt 30 points and Chris Bond (pictured below) 22 points being key in Australia's ultimately comfortable win.

"We're really happy with that...our intensity, our game plan, it all came together," Australia's winning captain Ryan Scott told insideworldparasport afterwards.

Looking ahead to London 2012, Scott said: "We're hopeful of performing but also realistic that every game is going to be tough.

"It's going to be a very tough competition and that is what it should be."

Chris Bond_20-04-12
Though it was defeat for Britain, Phipps was pleased with the overall performance the team put in during the two day tournament.

He told insideworldparasport: "I think we got a little disheartened but all in all everyone is really pleased with everything we showed."

"We contained them some of the time and there was some fantastic play so we are just going to go away and try and learn from that and see what we can do come the summer.

"We will take away the video footage study it and try and come back better and stronger."

Bronze went to world number five Canada, who edged Sweden out 50-48.

Contact the writer of this story at [email protected]

Related stories
April 2012: Quartet faces off in London 2012 wheelchair rugby test event