Results grim but valuable lessons for NZ

New Zealand skip Anton Hood says his team are disappointed but they now know what it takes to compete on the world stage.

The Kiwi men showed glimpses of their competitive ability but were beaten in all 12 games at the world championships in Switzerland.

Their final game, against the Netherlands, rather summed up their efforts.

New Zealand trailed 6-5 after eight ends and blanked the ninth, ensuring they would take the hammer into the last end.

Hood had his final stone to play, and his team-mates had two stones aligned to give him the first half of a double takeout to score two for the win.

The first stone was duly taken out but the redirected stone missed its second target by millimetres, handing the win to the Dutch.

It was the second consecutive world championship for Naseby skip Hood, Ben Smith, Brett Sargon, Hunter Walker and alternate Peter de Boer, supported by coach Carolyn McRorie and Warren Dobson.

The Kiwis were the lowest-ranked of the 13-strong field but impressed many with their determination and ability to foot it with many of the top teams deep into the game, despite not gaining the elusive win.

In the middle of the week, they played superb back-to-back games against eventual finalists Canada and Sweden, taking the latter to the last stone.

"We are disappointed with the results for the week", Hood told Curling New Zealand.

"We had higher expectations of ourselves.

"We have lots of learning and more opportunities to grow as a team.

"This highlights the work we must do to compete at this level consistently.

"It showed what we can achieve when we do play well and put ends together. The games against Sweden and Canada really showed that for us."

Hood said the team would hold a debrief before continuing to train hard and improve.

He said New Zealand had an exceptional coaching unit and the curlers would lean on their expertise through the Naseby winter.

Despite finishing at the tail of the field, the New Zealand men earned an Olympic qualification point, and although the chance of earning direct entry to Torino 2026 is low, they and the women’s team will have a pathway to the Games via other qualification events.

Olympic champions Sweden beat Canada 6-5 in yesterday’s gold medal final to claim the world title.

Those two teams had emerged as the top two from the round-robin phase.

As table-toppers, Sweden started the final with last-stone advantage.

Italy beat Scotland 7-6 in the bronze final.

— Staff reporter