On the back of a record-setting day for their skip, Val Smith, a formidable New Zealand women’s triples team will chase gold tomorrow against hosts Australia at the Bowls World Championships on the Gold Coast.
Smith celebrated the semifinal victory over Canada today which was her 647th performance for New Zealand, which surpassed the previous record of good friend Jo Edwards.
It marked an outstanding day for the triples led by singles world champion Tayla Bruce and the talented Leeane Poulson and skipped by smith, as they edged past Malaysia 14-13 in the morning quarterfinal and dominated Canada 20-9 in the semifinal.
They now take on the might of Australia at Broadbeach on Sunday in front of a partisan crowd.
“The girls worked really hard today upfront because it wasn’t easy out there,” said Smith. “The green speed change throughout the day and sped up as the day went on. There were different speeds in different directions as well but the concentration was very good.
“We know it is going to be a tough one because it is Australia on their home track, If we can keep that spirit, confidence, the positive mindset and high work ethic that that is what gets us through.”
Smith said her personal record was not something she every considered.
“It’s a privilege to have had that many opportunities to play for New Zealand. I didn’t set out to go beyond Jo and I am sure Jo did not set out to reach this mark either.
“We‘ve been very lucky to play this many caps for New Zealand. When you start your international career it is not something you think about, that you will be around 640-odd games later. We both see it as a massive privilege and we are very fortunate.”
In a heart-pounding quarterfinal clash, the team displayed nerves of steel, culminating in a jaw-dropping last-bowl by Smith, securing a top three finish. Their semifinal showdown against Canada showcased a masterclass in precision bowling from all three players, resulting in a decisive 20-9 victory that solidified their spot in the finals against Australia on Sunday.
The New Zealand Blackjacks have had a successful day of play at the World Championships, contesting three quarterfinals.
The women’s pair of Katelyn Inch and Selina Goddard have finished their World Championship campaign with an agonising quarterfinal loss to Scotland. The kiwis were down 1-4 after four ends and were still behind by five shots after 11 ends chasing from behind throughout their contest. They…