Scotland defeat defending champions at Pioneer Hi-Bred World Men’s championship

  • Team Scotland © WCF / Michael Burns

Scotland recovered from three straight losses to hand defending champions Sweden their first defeat in Tuesday morning’s ninth round-robin session of the Pioneer Hi-Bred World Men’s Curling Championship 2019 in Lethbridge, Canada.

This session had only three games and, as the Scots beat Sweden by 6-5, Italy had a 10-4 win over Norway, while Japan beat Korea by 8-7 after an extra end.

In the game between Scotland and Sweden, the teams traded single-point scores all the way to the sixth end, when a raise attempt by Sweden’s skip Niklas Edin had the wrong angle, to hand Scotland a steal of one and a 4-2 lead.

The game then went down to the last stone, and Scotland skip Bruce Mouat sealed the win with a hit and soft roll to score one point in the end and win by 6-5.

After the game, Mouat said, “We’ve been playing well, and that was another good game for us, it’s just that we’ve been on the wrong side of those losses. It’s nice to get a second win and that was quite a big one against Sweden. These competitions are all about momentum and trying to build that. Now we’re back in the running, hopefully it’s turned a new page.”

Korea faced Japan in this game, and with a 6-2 lead at the half-time break, seemed to be in control. However, a steal of two points in the ninth end gave Japan the lead for the first time, by 7-6.

With the last stone of the tenth end, Korea skip SooHyuk Kim drew into position to score one point and tie the game at 7-7 to force an extra end. In that extra end Japan’s skip Yuta Matsumura held his nerve to play a final draw inside two Korean stones in the house, scoring one point to win by 8-7. This result leaves Korea still looking for their first win.

In the third game of the session, Italy faced Norway. Italy opened with a score of two points in the first end. Another score of two points in the fifth end gave them a 5-2 lead at the break.

In the eighth end, Italy’s skip Joel Retornaz hit out a Norway stone to score five points for a 10-4 score-line. Norway then conceded the game, and, like Korea, they remain win-less.

Italy’s Retornaz said afterwards, “We’ve been performing well, and we’ve told ourselves to just keep playing the way we’re playing, and the results are going to be positive for us. Although the game was tight, we were controlling it and then in the eighth, game over.”

Looking forward, he added, “It would mean something big to me to get to the play-offs because that means you’re one of the best teams in the world.”

Canada and Switzerland, who both sat out this session, remain undefeated at the top of the table, on five wins, behind them in joint third place are Japan and Sweden, while Norway and Korea still share bottom spot.

Results: Japan 8-7 Korea; Scotland 6-5 Sweden; Norway 4-10 Italy.

Current Standings(W-L):

Canada 5-0
Switzerland 5-0
Japan 5-1
Sweden 5-1
United States 4-1
Italy 3-2
Netherlands 2-3
Scotland 2-3
China 1-4
Germany 1-4
Russia 1-4
Norway 0-5
Korea 0-6

Watch, follow, engage

Live coverage of these championships will be available via the World Curling Federation’s broadcast partners: Eurosport (Europe-wide), TSN and RDS (Canada), NBCSports (United States), NHK (Japan), CCTV5 (China), SBS (Korea), SRF/RTS/RSI (Switzerland), Viasat (Denmark, Norway, Finland), Polsat (Poland), SVT (Sweden), Match TV (Russia), La Chaine Equipe (France), BBC Online (United Kingdom). Coverage will also be available, subject to geo-blocking restrictions, on the event website and the World Curling Federation’s Twitter, Facebook and YouTube Channels: www.youtube.com/WorldCurlingTV

To engage with the World Curling Federation on social media during the Pioneer Hi-Bred World Men’s Curling Championship 2019 follow it on Twitter, Instagram (@worldcurling) and Facebook (@WorldCurlingFederation) and use the hashtags when posting: #WMCC2019 #curling