The Australian Jackaroos and New Zealand Blackjacks split the honours on the opening day of the Trans Tasman test series at Burnside, Christchurch yesterday.
The Jackaroos’ men opened proceedings with a two game surplus, 4-2, to secure the first test while the women’s contingent were evenly matched with 3 games apiece, but a superior differential on count back resulted in a first test win for New Zealand.
In the women’s event, New Zealand trailed three matches to one going into the third and final round, which saw a convincing display by the Blackjack women's pairs combination of Val Smith and Jo Edwards to defeat the illustrious pairing of Karen Murphy and Kelsey Cottrell 24-11, while Kirsten Griffin, Selina Goddard and Mandy Boyd poached a 15-13 victory over Carla Krizanic, Anne Johns and Natasha Scott, levelling the ledger 3-games to each nation with New Zealand ahead on the shot differential.
In the men's test, after the two nations shared the morning pairs and triples, Australia took control in the second round, with Aaron Sherriff producing a dominant performance to defeat Ali Forsyth 21-7 in the singles, while Wayne Ruediger, Ray Pearse, Nathan Rice and Mark Casey’s fours team overpowered Tweed Heads’ based Kiwi Paul Girdler’s outfit, 18-8.
The third round saw the men’s triples team all locked up at 14-14 after 17 of the 18 ends, with Wayne Ruediger, Mark Casey and Aron Sherriff collecting a 3 on the last end to remain in the winner’s circle, 17-14.
New Zealand’s two wins in the men’s event were recorded by Mike Nagy and Ali Forsyth in the pairs.
In the Development test, Australia were too strong for their international counterparts, running out winners 8 games to 4.
The National Selection Panel has elected to make some positional changes ahead of today’s encounters, with the following selections confirmed for the second test.
Singles: Karen Murphy
Pairs: Kelsey Cottrell & Karen Murphy
Triples: Lynsey Clarke, Rebecca Van Asch & Natasha Scott
Fours: Lynsey Clarke, Kelsey Cottrell, Rebecca Van Asch & Natasha Scott
Singles: Aron Sherriff
Pairs: Brett Wilkie & Aron Sherriff
Triples: Barrie Lester, Mark Casey & Nathan Rice
Fours: Barrie Lester, Brett Wilkie, Nathan Rice & Mark Casey
Regardless of results, it will be a day to remember for Tasmania’s Rebecca Van Asch, who celebrates her 28th birthday and her 100th international appearance in today’s second rubber.
The test series continues today and tomorrow, click here to follow the results on Bowls Zealand’s website
Bowls Australia would like to acknowledge the assistance and funding provided by the Australian Commonwealth Games Association to Bowls Australia for athletes in the “Gold Coast GOLD” 2018 program.
The Gold Coast GOLD program was devised by the ACGA to maximise podium performances at the 2018 Commonwealth Games, and assist athletes who are expected to be nominated for selection to the 2018 Australian Team.