New Zealand defeat Australia to stay in the play-off hunt at the round-robin half-way stage

  • New Zealand win their third game © WCF / Tom Rowland

Day four of the Pacific-Asia Curling Championship 2018 got underway this morning (Tuesday 6 November) with the men’s fifth session of round-robin play in Gangneung, Republic of Korea.

This session was the half-way mark in the men's round-robin and saw New Zealand face Australia in a tense game that went all the way to the final stone.

The teams traded single point scores in the first two ends before New Zealand took the advantage with a single point steal in the third end when Australia’s fourth player, Dean Hewitt played a hit on one of the New Zealand counters but was unable to keep his shooter in the house. Australia then levelled the game at 2-2 in the fourth end with a score of one point.

New Zealand, with the last stone advantage blanked the next three ends searching for more than a single point. Then in the eighth end, New Zealand opted to settle for a score of one point when skip, Scott Becker played a hit-and-stay on the lone Australian shot stone to take a 3-2 lead.

Australia levelled the game again at 3-3 in the ninth end when already sitting shot stone, Hewitt was light with his draw, coming up just short to only score a single point.

Then in the tenth end, with the last stone of the game, Becker promoted one of his own stones into the four-foot for the single point and the win, 4-3.

After their win, Becker said, “It means quite a lot, it means a lot to the young guys, that’s a really good confidence booster for us. In terms of getting onto the standings it’s very important, but it was a really nice tight game, and it was good to bring it out at the end.”

China and Kazakhstan contested a close game with Kazakhstan getting on the scoreboard first with a steal of two points in the first end after China skip, Qiang Zou was heavy with his draw on his last stone.

China recovered from the opening setback to take a 5-3 lead going into the break. Kazakhstan blanked the sixth end, before scoring two points in the seventh end to level the scores.

Then in the eighth end, Zou hit out the single Kazakhstan stone in the house to score four points, after which Kazakhstan conceded giving China the 9-5 win.

China coach, Daniel Rafael said after the game, “they played a lot of draws early and it gave us a little bit of problems, but as the game progressed, they got more and more tired and the two younger players just couldn’t keep up anymore. So, we were able to get those four points in the end.”

He went on to say, “Our team is young, so I get to keep on them, to keep their level of energy up, because now we get into the zone where the players see the end, rather than where they are and we still have some games to play against Australia and New Zealand, and we need to win those games, so we need to keep them in the game.”

At the same time, Korea defeated Chinese Taipei 11-4, while Japan beat Qatar 15-2

The championships continue at 12:00 Korea Standard Time with the women’s session four games.

To keep up-to-date with all the action from the Pacific-Asia Curling Championships 2018 follow us on Twitter, Instagram (@worldcurling) and Facebook (/WorldCurlingFederation) and use the hashtags: #PACC2018 #curling