Sweden defeat Italy to remain the only undefeated men’s team at the Le Gruyère AOP Europeans

  • Sweden remain undefeated after five sessions © WCF / Richard Gray

After Monday evening’s fifth session of men’s round-robin play at the Le Gruyère AOP European Curling Championships in Tallinn, Estonia, defending champions Sweden moved clear at the top of the table, undefeated so far, while, at the other end, Netherlands are still looking for their first win.

In this session, Sweden faced fellow table-toppers Italy and the game stayed close all the way to the ninth end when, with the score at 6-4 to Sweden and Italy gambling to try to get back into it, Swedish skip, Niklas Edin, played a double take-out to score five points to lead 11-4 and end the game.

Afterwards Edin said, “it feels good to be on top on our own. We’re playing really consistently so we’re creating opportunities and when we take them, we score big as you saw at the end there.”

At the other end of the table, the Netherlands faced Russia.

In a low-scoring game, Russia finally broke clear with a score of two points in the ninth end for a 4-2 lead and then finished their win with a steal of one point in the tenth end, for a 5-2 victory.

After this game, Alexey Tuzov [pictured below © WCF / Alina Pavlyuchik], third player for Russia, said, “that was a good game against a good team, they played well, but we played better. It’s all in the mind for us. We changed our second player for this game and we played better.”

Netherlands remain at the bottom of the table without a win and, with seven of these European men’s teams qualifying directly for this season’s Pioneer Hi-Bred World Men’s Championship in Canada and the next two moving onto the new World Qualification Event in New Zealand, the team that finishes tenth will effectively end the Championship season for their Member Association.

The two teams nearest the Netherlands at the foot of the table are Poland, who lost by 2-11 to Scotland in six ends, thanks largely to a Scottish steal of six points in the sixth end, and Finland, who lost in this session by 7-9 to Switzerland, when, in the tenth end, their skip Wille Makela had a miss with his last stone, handing Switzerland a steal of one point and the win.

After his win over Finland, Swiss skip Peter de Cruz said, “that was a very important win. They played unbelievable… how they can be near the bottom of the table, I don’t know. We maybe got a lucky break to win it”.

In the fifth game of this session, Norway beat Germany by 7-4 when Norway’s skip Steffen Walstad drew his last stone into the house to score three points and win the game.

Session five results: Germany 4-7 Norway; Finland 7-9 Switzerland; Sweden 11-4 Italy; Scotland 11-2 Poland; Netherlands 2-5 Russia

Standings after session five:

Sweden 5-0
Italy 4-1
Scotland 4-1
Germany 3-2
Norway 3-2
Russia 2-3
Switzerland 2-3
Finland 1-4
Poland 1-4
Netherlands 0-5

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