Curling: NZ anchoring the standings

Peter de Boer.
Peter de Boer.
New Zealand is struggling after two days of the Asia and Pacific championships and needs a quick reversal of form to reach the semifinals.

The men's and women's teams both sit at the bottom of the championship table in the event that is being held on home soil at the Naseby Indoor Curling Rink.

The men lost their first two games and the women their first three games.

The men have four games left to turn around their fortunes and pick up a spot in the semifinals.

New Zealand lost to Japan 8-5 yesterday after dropping four shots on the fourth of 10 ends.

Accurate draw play by Japan left it just four stones in the house and its blocks made it difficult for New Zealand to remove them.

Skip Peter de Boer attempted to reduce the count to one with his last stone but it rolled outside the house and New Zealand trailed 7-2.

New Zealand fought back by scoring shots on the fifth and seventh ends.

But it was up against a Japanese team that was desperate for the win and kept knocking the New Zealand rocks out of the house.

The best Japanese player was second Tetsuro Shimizu, who was steady as a rock.

The strong Chinese team leads the competition with two wins. It beat Kazakhstan 8-4 yesterday by scoring a two on the first end, three on the third, two on the sixth and a single on the ninth end.

China, which is ranked sixth on the Olympic qualifying points table, honed its skills on the tough Canadian circuit.

A feature of its game is its ability to exploit any opposition weakness and add extra shots.

The only other unbeaten men's team is Korea that had a bye yesterday and has a win from its first game.

Australia, which lost narrowly to Korea 9-8 on Sunday, came back strongly to beat Chinese Taipei 5-4 when skip Ian Palangio scored the winning shot with the last stone of the game.

The New Zealand women's team lost its second game to China 10-2 when the game ended after seven of the 10 ends. It then lost to Japan 9-2.

Japan led 5-1 after four ends, but New Zealand fought back and held Japan scoreless on the next three ends, before Japan clinched the win by scoring two shots on the eighth and ninth ends.

China leads the women's competition with four wins and is followed by Japan (three) and Korea (two).

Korea gave China a fright and had locked the scores at 6-6 after the ninth end. But China had the last rock and scored the winning shot on the 10th end to win the game 7-6.

China got off to a flying start in its fourth game last night and led Kazakhstan 9-1 after just three ends by scoring a four on the first end and five on the third. The game was called off after six of the 10 ends, with China winning 12-3.

Play continues today.


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