Session 10: Australia and New Zealand women to play tie-breaker

Australia women lost to New Zealand, forcing a tie-breaker between the two teams Photo: WCF/Richard Gray

New Zealand and Australia women will play a tie-breaker to decide the last team to qualify for the semi-finals following the tenth session of play at the Pacific-Asia Curling Championships 2014 being held in the Karuizawa Ice Park Curling Hall in Karuizawa, Japan.

With China, Japan and Korea men and women already qualified for the semi-finals, the winners of the tie-breakers this evening, both between Australia and New Zealand men and women, will join them in the semi-finals.

The final women’s round-robin session of the Championship saw the trans-Tasman neighbours go head to head, with New Zealand needing a victory to force a tie-breaker.

After stealing one point in the first end, New Zealand then stole another three points in the second end after Australia skip Kim Forge was heavy with her final draw.

Australia got on the scoreboard in the next end as they took one point before they stole another point in the fourth end after New Zealand fourth Thivya Jeyaranjan was heavy with her final draw.

Jeyaranjan got her draw weight right in the next end however as she drew into the house to score two points and make the score 6-2 at the fifth end break.

Although Australia took another two points in the next end, New Zealand saw out the game to win 8-5 after nine ends of play.

This win secured a tie-breaker between the two teams, which will be played at 19:00 this evening.

After this game, New Zealand’s fourth player, Thivya Jeyaranjan, said: “I think we’ve been improving throughout the Championship. It’s really been great being able to play together as a team. I think we’ve been getting stronger with every game and I think that’s showed in our result today.”

On their tiebreaker against Australia, she added: “I think this win definitely gives us a psychological advantage. We know we can do it so hopefully we’ll carry on playing the way we did this afternoon.”

In the only other game of this session, Korea women finished off their double round-robin campaign having won all of their games.

They defeated China this afternoon in a tight, low scoring game which went right down to the last stone.

China blanked the first two ends before getting on the scoreboard in the third end when skip Sijia Liu made a hit for one point.

Korea then blanked the next end before skip Eun Jung Kim made a draw into the house for one point in the fifth end.

China then blanked the next two ends before giving up a steal of one point in the eighth end when skip Sijia Liu made a hit but could not clear all of the Korean stones out of scoring positions.

This proved crucial. China blanked the ninth end looking to take advantage of last stone into the tenth end.

They used this advantage to their benefit as skip Sijia Liu made a tap on one of her stones to raise it into a scoring position to give China the one point needed to take the game into an extra end.

Korea made sure of the game however as skip Eun Jung Kim made a hit and stay to score the one point needed for their 3-2 win.

Afterwards, Korea skip Eun Jung Kim, explained the decision to go for a hit rather than a draw with her last shot. She said: “The ice was getting heavier in the extra end and I felt that ice control would be very difficult so I felt more confident making the hit.”

On the game itself she said: “I wanted to be more offensive but we made some misses so I was disappointed we couldn’t play this way.”

She concluded by summing up her feelings as her team move forwards into the semi-finals. She said: “We’re trying just to focus on one game at a time, that’s what we did throughout the round-robin and we will continue to do in the play-off stages.”

Australia men and women will go head to head in tonight’s tie-breakers, which both begin at 19:00 local time (JST).

The winner of the men’s tie-breaker will progress to the semi-finals where they will face Japan.

The winner of the women’s tie-breaker will progress to the semi-finals where they will face Korea.

The first games of the semi-final series begin on Friday morning at 09:00 local time (JST).

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