World Men's Curling Championship 2012 - Draw 7

Stand-in Swedish skip, Sebastian Kraupp leads by example against New Zealand Photo: WCF/Richard Gray

Sweden joined Canada at the top of the rankings when they won their fourth round-robin game, beating New Zealand by 8-3 in the seventh session of play at the World Men’s Curling Championship in Basel, Switzerland on Monday afternoon.

New Zealand took an early lead, scoring two points in the second end, but the Swedes – still missing their injured, regular skip Niklas Edin, took control after that, when Sebastian Kraupp opened his team’s account with a hit to score three points in the third end to start Sweden’s march to victory.

Having lost out to Canada in their Monday morning game, Norway came back onto winning form in their game against the Czech Republic, but they did not have it all their own way. In the sixth end Czech skip Jiri Snitil played a nice double take-out to score two and level the game at 3-3, but eventually, in the tenth end, Norwegian skip Thomas Ulsrud drew right onto the button to score one point and win by 6-4.

Afterwards, Ulsrud said: “We always start slow and hopefully we’ll get stronger and stronger through the week. This afternoon I was putting the broom in the right spot. At least this is better than last year, and hopefully this is it for us now. Hopefully the Norwegian team you just saw will be the one that turns up tomorrow.”

Hosts Switzerland – without a win after their three previous games – promoted alternate player Benoit Schwarz onto the ice to play fourth stones, with regular vice-skip Toni Mueller moved to lead and regular lead Juerg Bamert spent the game on the bench. But while they seemed to be more competitive than previously with this change, the Swiss eventually went down by 4-7 to Scotland when Scottish skip Tom Brewster hit to score two points in the ninth end for 6-4, after which the Swiss last stone in the tenth end wrecked on the way in to give Scotland a 7-4 win.

Later, Brewster said: “We deserved to win the game but maybe not in that style. My last didn’t curl enough, and he had a shot for the game and missed it. You need to be on your mettle for every game here, one mistake and you lose, but we’re in a great place now.”

In the fourth game of the session, China faced Denmark and, in a tight game, Danish skip Rasmus Stjerne drew to score two points in the fourth end and level the score at 2-2. After this, China skip Liu Rui produced a good draw of his own to score two points in the sixth end and re-take the lead at 4-3. Stjerne then produced a spectacular triple take-out in the ninth end to score one point and lead again briefly, at 6-5, but eventually China scored two points in the tenth end for what was their third win of the event so far.

After the game Chinese skip Rui, speaking through an interpreter, said: “This was a very close game and the team was very good. We are playing well and now we have two more wins.”

Session 7: New Zealand 3, Sweden 8; Norway 6, Czech Republic 4; Scotland 7, Switzerland 4; Denmark 6, China 7.

Standings after 7 sessions:

Canada 4-0
Sweden 4-0
Scotland 4-1
China 3-1
France 2-2
Denmark 2-3
Norway 2-3
New Zealand 2-3
Czech Republic 1-3
Germany 1-3
USA 1-3
Switzerland 0-4

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