|Anton Hood, New Zealand 2. Photo © NZ Curling|
30 Aug 2019 – The round robin is complete at the QRC Winter Games NZ Mixed Doubles Curling Tournament fuelled by Forsyth Barr, and Sweden have joined Korea with direct entry to the semi-finals as pool winners.
They will meet the winners of this afternoon's quarter-finals between the second and third placegetters from the pools.
The New Zealand 2 side of Holly Thompson and Anton Hood are kept the local hopes alive with a final pool win against Australia 2. That earned them another Trans-Tasman clash with Australia 1's Tahli Gill and Dean Hewitt in their quarter-final.
"We just want to bring a bit of fun into the game," said Anton Hood. "We've achieved our main goal to make the playoffs, so everything from here is a bonus. We know we have to play well to beat them, so we just want to step it up another gear if we can.
Speaking after their final round robin win, 8-2 against New Zealand 3, Australia's Dean Hewitt said, "We really had to work for that; they played some really good shots around the button there. But now we've got a bit of momentum over the past couple of games, and hopefully we can bring our 'A' game against Holly and Anton. They're playing really well, it'll be a good battle."
The other quarter-final is a North American derby between the Canadian father-daughter team of Robert and Emilie Desjardins, and USA's Tabitha Peterson and Joe Polo who beat Japan in their last pool game.
Robert Desjardins was delighted with their progress. "This is the first time for Emilie wearing the Maple Leaf," he said, "so getting to the playoffs is a great accomplishment for her. For this afternoon, we need to make more shots and take care of our opportunities. In our last game [against NZL 1] both sides left plenty of chances out on the ice, and we'll need to be better if we want to have a chance against Joe and Tabitha."
The winner of the Australia - New Zealand clash will play Sweden in the first semi-final at 8:00 am tomorrow (Saturday). Korea will play the winner of the USA - Canada match in the second semi at 11:30 am. The medal games will take place in the afternoon.