13 September 2018

Koe keep rolling but depleted Edin suffer second defeat

Canada end day two 3-0, mixed fortunes for United States but Sweden in peril

Team Edin suffered a nightmare second day in Suzhou as an injury to second Rasmus Wranaa saw them defeated by China and in need of a major revival if they are to reach the final in the Curling World Cup's opening leg.

Wranaa's back injury prevented him playing any part in either of Team Edin's matches on Thursday and although the three-man rink just about overcame Norway in the day's lunchtime session, they lost heavily 7-2 to China later on to leave them struggling in Group A on three points, having also lost to the United States on Wednesday.

Chinese third Dexin Ba commented afterwards: "Sweden are very strong and brave but it's a pity they had only three people. Maybe we were a little bit lucky. We were satisfied with our performance, we performed just as we have been practising every day."

Edin had come very close to defeat to Team Walstad at lunchtime. Trailing 5-4 with the hammering going into the final end, Edin was able to draw into an open house for three to give the 8-5 final scoreline a slightly flattering gloss.

Team Koe, by contrast, have a 100% record. They took care of Scotland comprehensively 9-1 in the morning, a double takeout for four in the first end setting the tone, and Team Mouat had no way back after a draw for three in the fifth.

Their evening clash with Japan took a similar course. A steal for three in the first end set them on their way to a 8-2 victory in the seventh end. New team members BJ Neufeld and Colton Flasch are clearly settling in nicely. "I feel like we're getting stronger with every game," Koe told World Curling TV's Rhona Howie.

There was a dramatic start but a highly disappointing end to the day for United States' Team Ruohonen. Their morning game with China was settled by the game umpire on the final stone.

With scores locked at 5-5, Jialiang Zang's last stone came to rest just behind the button next to Ruohonen’s, and out come the measuring device. United States were deemed the victor by a matter of a couple of milimetres.

Rouhonen said: “That's the closest measure I've ever had to win a game. It was crazy. We had them by two little clicks!"

He wasn't so happy when the American rink later fell 9-1 to Norway, failing to register a point until the sixth end. Norway and the United States therefore share the lead in Group A on six points.

Just behind them are Scotland. A superb hit-and-roll with the penultimate stone by skip Bruce Mouat tied up a nervous 5-4 win over Switzerland which partially atoned for their earlier heavy defeat to Team Koe.

On that final shot against Norway, Mouat said: “It wasn’t our best end, and we kind of needed a shot like that to pull out the win so I’m glad that I was able to make it in quite tough conditions."

Earlier on, Team De Cruz scored a healthy 10-1 victory over Japan. “We arrived two days ago with awful jet lag so we haven't had the opportunity to enjoy the city too much yet. The only thing we enjoyed was our bed,” said vice-skip Benoit Schwarz.

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