|Team New Zealand|
Monday 19 August – Last-gasp wins to New Zealand teams were a feature of the second day's competition at the Audi quattro Winter Games NZ curling tournament.
The New Zealand Men’s team started well in the feature match of the morning third round against fellow Olympic Qualifying contenders Japan. A draw for 4 in the second end and some impressive shot making saw NZ out to a 7-2 lead at the fifth end break.
However an error-free second half fightback by Japan, including steals in the last two ends, tied the game at 8-8 after the regulation 10 ends. In a nerve-racking finish, NZ skip Peter de Boer found just enough room with his last stone to secure the single he needed for the win.
Korea scored a deuce in the final end to beat Australia 9-8 in another last-stone thriller, and China were too strong for New Zealand “A”, winning 8-4. While he was pleased with the win, the Chinese skip felt his side were not yet on top of their game.
“We are not very satisfied with our overall performance,” said Zou Dejia, “as we are not up to the standard we show in training. This is a very young team though, so this international competition is a great opportunity for us to gain experience.”
Mixed Doubles – Round 3
Today’s Mixed Doubles round saw New Zealand “A” on top of their game with as they headed England 12-2 in six ends, and Australia picked up their second win beating Japan 8-4.
Natalie Campbell and Hans Frauenlob faced their second consecutive tough Trans-Tasman battle, taken to an extra end by Australia “A” before squeaking home 8-7.
Men – Round 4
In the evening Men's fourth round China headed Australia 10-3, and in the local derby New Zealand were too strong for New Zealand “A”, winning 9-4.
The Korea - Japan clash was a game of singles throughout. Japanese skip Yusuke Morozumi tried to break the deadlock with a double takeout to score two, but missed by millimetres to concede a single and the game to Korea 6-4.
Korean skip Kim Soohyuk was a relieved man after their narrow win. "This is a very tough competition, and it's very good to get some hard games," he said. "It's great preparation for our Olympic Qualifying tournament later this year."
Korea and New Zealand are unbeaten after four rounds of the Men’s competition. China and Japan have two wins, while Australia and New Zealand “A” have yet to register a win.
Curling at the Audi quattro Winter Games NZ runs at Naseby’s MCI rink through the week, with round robin matches continuing in the Men’s Fours and Mixed Doubles until Thursday 22nd. Semi-finals and finals will be played on Friday.