New Zealand pick up their first win while China win again

  • New Zealand record their first win of the championship © WCF / Tom Rowland

In the final session of day two at the Pacific-Asia Curling Championship 2018 the men returned to the ice for their third round-robin session in Gangneung, Republic of Korea.

New Zealand faced Kazakhstan in this session with both sides searching for their first win. New Zealand struck first, stealing two points in the first end before Kazakhstan responded with a single point in the second end, followed by steals of one point in the third end and three points in the fourth end.

New Zealand retook the lead when skip, Scott Becker was left with an open draw for five points in the fifth end to take a 7-5 lead into the break. New Zealand went on to score three points in the seventh end. A further score of four points, after a double take-out by Becker, in the ninth end gave New Zealand the win, by 14-8.

Afterwards, Becker said, “we are a new team, that’s actually the first two games we’ve ever played together, even practicing we only had a couple of hours before this tournament, so ours is you would say a re-building. We’ve got a lot of good young players coming through, so we want to introduce them to the international scene.”

He continued, “we’ve come over here optimistic that we’ll do well, but we have an idea that being a new team, things might be a bit rusty. Things are only gonna get better from our starting game. That was not great.”

China came into their game against Chinese Taipei on two wins and maintained that undefeated record with a 9-2 win.

China lead Chinese Taipei 7-1 at the fifth end break and in the seventh end, already sitting shot stone on the button, fourth player, Qiang Zou, played a precise draw alongside it to score two points and seal their win, 9-2.

Hong Kong bounced back from their morning defeat to beat Qatar 13-3. Hong Kong opened the scoring with three points in the first end. Then in the sixth end Hong Kong skip, Jason Chang, was left with an open draw for three points to increase their lead to 8-2.

In the eighth end, Chang played a hit and stay with his final stone to score five points, and secure their win, by 13-3.

Afterwards, Chang said, “It was a good game. We lost this morning and we weren’t very sharp, so this game we really tried to concentrate on throwing the right way for the draws, letting the sweepers sweep it into the house, and for the hits, throwing the right times for the control weight and the normal weight hits. We did that this evening, so the result was much better. Our alternate, Teddie’s birthday was today, so he said that the birthday gift is to win one for him, so we did that.”

Korea won their second game of the day in the session’s final game, when they defeated Australia 7-3.

After blanking the opening end, Korea scored two points in the second end on their way to a four one lead at the break. Korea increased their lead to 6-1, with a steal of two points in the sixth end before running Australia out of stones in the tenth end and winning, by 7-3.

The championships resume tomorrow (Monday 5 November). The women open day three at 09:00 Korea Standard Time (KST), while the men return to the ice at 14:00 KST.

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