Japan's Yusuke Morozumi (right) watches his stone as
Australia's Sean Hall looks on during Asia and Pacific
curling championships at the Naseby Indoor Curling Rink
yesterday. Japan won 7-6. Photo by Craig Baxter.
One mistake was enough. Japan capitalised on an
Australian error to move closer to a men's semifinal spot
Japan beat Australia 7-6 in a closely fought game at the Asia
and Pacific curling championships at the Naseby Indoor
The scores were locked at 4-all when Japan made a steal to
gain two shots on the seventh end and take a decisive grip on
That end was crucial.
"We got the shots because of their mistakes," Japanese skip
Yusuke Morozumi said.
"I'm confident we will make the semifinals now."
Australian skip Hugh Millikin admitted the error was costly.
"We had control of the game until we let them steal that
two," he said.
"When that happened we were chasing them."
Australia and Japan both scored singles on the next two ends
and Australia was still chasing two shots on the final end to
tie the game.
Japan displayed an aggressive defence and hammered Australian
scoring stones out of the house.
Australia had one shot when Ian Palangio played the last
stone of the game.
"We had our chance but the stone hit the wrong rock and we
lost it on the measure," Millikin said.
China and Korea remain unbeaten at the top of the men's
competition with two wins. Japan is next with two wins and a
loss and Australia and New Zealand both have two wins and a
Chinese Taipei has one win and two losses and Kazakhstan has
yet to win a game.
Korea beat Taipei 7-6 by scoring a shot on the final end.
New Zealand had its first win of the championship when it
beat newcomer Kazakhstan 8-3. The decisive act came on the
fifth end when New Zealand scored four shots to lead 8-2.
Skip Peter de Boer said New Zealand was at its best when the
team was relaxed.
"We have got a bit of a roll but we have to keep it going,"
"We can beat anybody when we play well and we still have a
chance to make the top four."
It was New Zealand's most consistent display at the
"We executed our shots really well," de Boer said.
"We played shots with a high degree of difficulty but we
still had to execute them.
"We played a simple game today and capitalised on their
mistakes. But it's nice to get a win after a couple of
disappointing results. Hopefully we can take it up another
level. It was quite a straightforward game out there this
The New Zealand women also had their first win when
Kazakhstan was beaten 11-3.
New Zealand consolidated its grip on the game by scoring nine
shots from the fourth to the seventh ends with a two, two,
four and one.
"We decided after our horrible game last night that we just
had to improve and needed to make a fresh start," the New
Zealand skip Bridget Becker said. "Our tournament started
today. We just relaxed and played one shot at a time. And if
we make our shots, we'll just let the results take care of
China remains unbeaten after five games, followed by Korea
four wins, Japan three wins, Australia two, and New Zealand
one. Kazakhstan has lost its five games.
In yesterday's games China easily beat Japan 8-2 and Korea
scored a four on the third end to beat Australia 8-4.
The championships continue at Naseby today.