World Men's Curling Championship 2012 - Draw 4

New Zealand beat European champions Norway Photo: WCF/Richard Gray

New Zealand, making their first appearance since 2008 at World level, faced Olympic silver medallists and current European champions Norway in the fourth session of the World Men’s Curling Championship in Basel, Switzerland, having lost their opener to Scotland. Undeterred by the Norwegians’ reputation, they gave as good as they got and took a big step towards their first win of the Championship when skip Peter de Boer scored three points in the fifth end and then hit for two points in the seventh end and a 7-3 lead.

After this, de Boer hit out a Norwegian stone in the tenth to run Norway out of stones and give New Zealand their landmark 7-4 win. Afterwards, de Boer said: “It feels good and it’s great fun. They’re a really good team and we played really well against them. This win tells us that we’re capable of beating anybody when we get our game together. Hopefully there will be a few more of them this week. We know we’ve got enough natural talent that if we throw it all together, we’ll beat anybody.”

Hosts Switzerland were looking for their first win of the event in Sunday afternoon’s fourth session of round-robin play at the World Men’s Curling Championship in Basel, Switzerland. However, their opponents – the Czech Republic - were in the same situation and it was the Czechs who emerged victorious from a tight game when their skip Jiri Snitil hit out a lying stone from the house to run Switzerland out of stones and claim a 5-3 win.

Later Snitil said: “We played better as a team today. We shared more information and we were on our game more than yesterday. We hope we can improve now, we did it at the last Worlds, so we hope we can add something to this game.”

Before this session Scotland had been unbeaten and shared the lead at the top of the table, but they gave up three points in the opening end of their game against Denmark when Danish skip Rasmus Stjerne played a double take-out.

The Danes followed that up with a further two points in the third end, when Stjerne tapped up one of his own stones to count two points. Scottish skip, Tom Brewster, said afterwards, the Scots never really recovered and went down by 7-9.

“We just got off to a bad start and never really got it back to be honest,” said Brewster, adding: “We made a lot of good shots, but we just didn’t get the breaks. The fifth was a turning point and the three at the first was just a soft three.”

Meanwhile, winning skip Rasmus Stjerne, said: “That’s one for the books. We came on strong and played a really good first five ends. We felt we had a chance from the start and we took it, and it paid off. They were silver medallists last year, so that‘s a big win to put in. We feel like we can start building momentum now.”

With their regular skip Niklas Edin still side-lined through injury, Sweden’s revised line-up continued their success story, beating China by 7-6 to record their second victory of the campaign so far.

Replacement skip Sebastian Kraupp – who normally plays third for the team – played a nice double take-out to score three points in the third end and then scored again in the next two ends. The Chinese opened their account with two points when skip Liu Rui hit for two points to cut the Swedish lead to 6-2, but the Swedes remained too strong and eventually ran out as 7-6 winners.

Kraupp then said: “It feels good to be on two wins, especially with this line-up. It’s quite strange for us and for me as a skip as well. But it feels good.” Speaking about his stricken skip, Niklas Edin, he added, “I don’t think he will play tomorrow, or not even Tuesday, but hopefully he can be around in the last round robin games and if he can play we want him back on the sheet.”

Results

Session 4:
Czech Republic 5, Switzerland 3; Scotland 7, Denmark 9; New Zealand 7, Norway 4; China 6, Sweden 7.

Standings after 4 sessions:
Canada 2-0
Sweden 2-0
Denmark 2-1
Scotland 2-1
China 1-1
Czech Republic 1-1
France 1-1
Germany 1-1
Norway 1-2
New Zealand 1-2
Switzerland 0-2
USA 0-2

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