At the halfway mark of the 10-Nations Welsh international tournament, National Coach Steve Glasson has provided another detailed report to bowls.com.au on the Jackaroos’ progress, which, pleasingly, included a gold medal amongst their haul.
The venue – Penylan BC;
The conditions – Dry and hot;
The green – Uncharacteristically quick for Wales (as suggested by our friendly locals);
The task – To attempt to win an unprecedented three gold medals in the very same day in the UK.
Jesse Noronha and Aaron Wilson had to be considered the underdogs against the South African duo of Wayne Rittmuller and Pierre Breitenback in the men’s pairs, due to the fact the South Proteas had already defeated the Jackaroo pairing in the sectional play, albeit by a solitary shot.
As expected, it was a tight contest with the Aussies leading the way for the most part, however typical of any proud South African team, it was only a matter of time before fierce pressure was applied, and albeit only a couple of shots ahead, there were always questions asked of us by the other green and gold contingent.
All four players contributed to the contest, however Aaron Wilson was the difference with a high level of consistency and some big shots when it really mattered.
The final scoreline read Australia defeated South Africa 18-12.
With a gold medal already secured, on top of yesterday’s women’s fours bronze, there was hope other Jackaroos would join them in the winners’ circle throughout the afternoon.
Young-gun Ellen Ryan has been in sublime form en-route to the gold medal match, but today was always going to be a new challenge with a green which was throwing its own challenges and yet another quality opponent, this time Emma Firyana Saroji from Malaysia.
Ryan started the better of the two and led early, however Emma soon found a specific three-quarter length, and in-turn her range, and as long as this length was available to her with the advantage of throwing the jack, then the prospect for Ellen prevailing gradually became diminished.
Ryan toiled and was gallant in defeat against an opponent who was simply better on the day, with the final score registered as Malaysia defeated Australia 21-14.
The men’s triples contingent of Corey Wedlock, Ben Twist and Aaron Teys faced the daunting task of taking on three of Ireland’s favourite sons in Stuart Bennett, Neil Mulholland and Mark Wilson, but the Jackaroos took control early, jumping to a 5-0 advantage in no time.
To Ireland’s credit, they lifted to a new level and whilst all three played extremely well, this game will hold long lasting memories for Ireland’s Captain Mark Wilson, who was nothing short of superb.
Australia didn’t really enjoy some near misses or less than optional results however the precision of the Irish is to be commended.
The final score was etched in Ireland’s favour, defeating Australia 19-12.
So, for the Jackaroos, it’s been a very solid first half of the tournament, with the following results from the initial four disciplines contested:
Gold medal – 1
Silver medals – 2
Bronze medal – 1
All teams now enjoy a rest day tomorrow (Tuesday) before starting the reverse disciplines on Wednesday.
I’m sure there will be plenty of ‘touristy’ action taking place by all teams in Cardiff, and well as some well deserved rest and recover, and maybe some household chores such as the laundry, etc.
Australia’s line-up and positions for the second half of the competition will be announced later today.
Please stay tuned for more updates and news from the 2018 Welsh 10-Nations event.
Thanks once again to everybody for their ongoing support.
For now, we toast our medallists, in particular the Australian men’s pairs combination of Jesse Noronha and Aaron Wilson.