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Capital One World Men’s Championship – Day 6

Final standings at end of round robin:

1. Norway 10-1
2. Canada 9-2
3. USA 8-3
4. Scotland 8-3
5. Denmark 7-4
6. Switzerland 5-6
7. Germany 5-6
8. Sweden 4-7
9. France 3-8
10. Italy 3-8
11. China 3-8
12. Japan 1-10.

Session 15: Germany 4, USA 8; Italy 5, Denmark 6; China 3, Canada 9; Japan 9, Switzerland 7.

Session 16: France 8, Italy 9; Sweden 8, Germany 2; Scotland 7, Japan 6 (extra end); Norway 6, China 4.

Session 17: Switzerland 9, Scotland 7; Canada 8, Norway 9; Denmark 6, France 4; USA 10, Sweden 5.

Unusually each one of the four games being played in the final round-robin session of the Capital One World Men’s Curling Championship on Thursday evening had a direct bearing on the eventual make-up of the Page Play-offs.

Canada and Norway faced each other in a top-of-the-table clash, with Norway having to win to force their way into the Page 1 v 2 game. And that is exactly what they did, scoring a three in the second end on the way to a 9-8 victory for their tenth win while handing Canada their second loss of the week and toppling them off the lead.

After this game, Torger Nergard, who is standing in for absent team skip Thomas Ulsrud, said, “it wasn’t easy coming into the championship without Tom, but I think we have showed that we can play well. We are a small nation and there are not many curlers compared to the choice in Canada. Winning that game puts us in pretty good shape for the playoffs and our goal now is to win a medal - that last draw was the hardest shot that I had to make all week”.

These teams now face each other again on Friday, and Canada’s Kevin Koe said, “I struggled there tonight, it wasn’t my best game personally. It was a little disappointing but that happens sometimes - we’ll be OK for tomorrow. I’ve got a better game than that, so, a minor blip – we’ll be fine tomorrow”.

On the next sheet, Scotland brought on their alternate – defending world champion David Murdoch – in place of third player David Smith. However, they still lost to Switzerland, by 7-9 when skip Warwick Smith’s last stone in the tenth came up short, to rank fourth overall.

After this game, Warwick Smith said, “We deliberately brought David (Murdoch) in to make sure he had a game before the weekend. You never know, someone might get injured and the last thing you want is Dave coming in then – he’s never played with us and he throws the stone totally differently, his game’s totally different”.

This result puts Scotland into the Page 3 v 4 game against USA and Warwick Smith said, “we’ll go in with the same game plan against US, but we need to tighten up on a few shots, we were a bit slack”.

USA finished on the same won eight, lost three record as the Scots, but rank above them in third because of their earlier round-robin win. They kept their medal hopes alive with a 10-5 win over Sweden, a game that put paid to Denmark’s play-off hopes despite their 6-4 win over France.

Speaking about his tough Thursday, USA skip Pete Fenson said, “we woke up this morning and knew that we needed two wins. We feel good about the way we’re playing, everyone’s focused and on the same page”.