The New Zealand Blackjacks have clinched bowls’ Trans Tasman honours for just the third time in a decade, after a scintillating final day performance at Broadbeach Bowls Club.
The Kiwi contingent stunningly claimed the Overall Senior Trans Tasman Trophy on a count-back of results, by virtue of securing the women’s event and only narrowly losing the men’s after three days of competition.
The Blackjacks prevailed in the women’s event two-tests-to-one, after winning successive tests across the weekend, while the green and gold army were triumphant in the men’s competition by the same margin, winning Friday’s and Sunday’s tests.
As a result, Australia surrendered its stronghold on the competition’s silverware, with New Zealand successful in the count-back of games won across the three tests in both genders, 60-points to 45.
New Zealand had last claimed the overall honours six years ago, on home soil, and prior to that, claimed the bragging rights in 2009 in Brisbane.
While the Blackjacks will take the Overall Senior Trans Tasman Trophy and Women’s Senior Trophy back to their shores, there wasn’t any further cause for celebration for the international raiders.
The host country collected the remaining five pieces of silverware on offer, in the Men’s Senior Trophy, after securing their second test today, and had already procured the Development Overall Trophy, Development Men’s Trophy, Development Women’s Trophy and Para-sport Trophy following their consecutive test victory on Saturday.
The result bodes well for both nation’s chances at the upcoming Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games, which will be played on the same Broadbeach greens.
With the Trans Tasman the last international hit-out before the Games, attention now turns to the selection of each nation’s teams.
Australia’s national selection panel must cull three able-bodied representatives who competed in this event, with Commonwealth Games Australia poised to announce the 15-strong Jackaroos team, featuring 10 able-bodied and 5 para-sport athletes, early next month.
Bowls Australia acknowledges the assistance and funding provided by Commonwealth Games Australia to Bowls Australia for athletes in the “Gold Coast GOLD” and “NextGEN AUSComGames” programs.
The Gold Coast GOLD program was devised by the CGA 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. NextGEN AUSComGames was devised to provide assistance to junior players who have been identified as potential 2018 or 2022 Commonwealth Games level athletes.