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Entries in New Zealand Croquet (12)

Sunday
May072017

Soo 18: 2017 Mac Wrap Up

All that history, and now our names too -- Malcolm and Greg Fletcher with the MacRobertson Shield. Click to Zoom.

On the final day of the 2017 MacRobertson Shield, England and Australia extended their leads. Two singles matches were left unplayed, due to the extreme heat (officially 105/40, but probably hotter on the lawns) and the fact that both tests had been decided the day before. The final tally:

1. Australia (3/3 test matches, 40/63 individual matches)
2. England (2/3 test matches, 38/61 individual matches)
3. New Zealand (1/3 test matches, 22/61 individual matches)
4. United States (0/3 test matches, 24/63 individual matches)

Australia's victory is notable in many ways. It is their first series win since 1935, and their first outside Australia. It is the first time since 1935 that the England or Great Britain team has been beaten twice in a row, the first time three siblings have played in the event, and the first time that the defending champions have finished lower than 2nd.

ROUND THREE PHOTO GALLERY

What lessons can the other teams draw from Australia's performance?

It's good to have the world's #1 player on your team. An obvious point, but beyond assuring a healthy number of wins at the top position, this engenders a lot of confidence for the rest of the team.

Strength in depth is critical. The top performer for the series on percentage of matches won was Greg Fletcher, playing at #5 and winning 5/6 singles and 7/9 doubles with Simon Hockey. Every team has at least one player ranked in the world top ten; it's at the bottom of the order that the differences are most pronounced. A team that can legitimately put very strong players at #5 and #6 has a huge advantage.

Team unity and discipline play a role. During Great Britain's streak of seven successive MacRobertson Shield championships, their team-of-rivals style worked well enough, because of their overwhelming advantage in playing strength for most of that period. In a more competitive series, Australia (and New Zealand in 2014) have shown the value of a unified approach. This applies to on-court matters such as tactics and doubles compatibility, as well as logistical arrangements for travel, housing, etc. An effective team manager is a big help.

Friday
Mar102017

2017 MacRobertson Shield Statistical Preview: Part 3

Today, we finish off the early preview of the 2017 MacRobertson Shield World Team Championship Tier 1 to be held in Rancho Mirage, California, April 18 to May 4, 2017. This simple look is centered around cumulative team stats from this team table ranked by Triples per Games Player. Chart 1 follows and is a visual on the Average Dynamic Grade per team. All stats are souced from croquetrecords.com.

Click to read more ...

Friday
Jan272017

2017 MacRobertson Shield Statistical Preview: Part 1

With the recent announcement of all four rosters for the 2017 MacRobertson Shield to be held in Rancho Mirage, California, in April and early May, we can now take a snapshot look at how the rosters stack up from a statistical perspective. I am going to present this in three separate postings starting with today's look at individual stats. The future postings will include a Trendline Player Rank look and a Cumulative Team Stats Analysis.

For the tables below, I'll offer some comments on items that caught my eye, but it's primarily from a statistical look as I rarely get to watch even the US players and have no in-person experience watching players from the other three teams. I would encourage anyone with more insight to fill up the comments section with feedback.

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
May242016

New Zealand Wins 2016 Golf Croquet WTC

The WCF Golf Croquet World Team Championship concluded this past weekend in England with New Zealand claiming the Tier 1 title by virtue of a 7-5 win over Egypt. Full match scores here:

Click to read more ...

Monday
May162016

WCF GC World Team Championship: Day One

Good news, our lads beat Sweden on Sunday in the opening day of WCF Golf Croquet World Team Championship block play with a 4-2 score. Today we play the Irish, which will be a really big game as explained below.

USA v. Sweden

Our play today was solid, but not spectacular. Ben, Danny and David were solid in winning their singles matches. Our doubles teams split, with Ben/Sherif winning their match but Danny/David losing their match. The highlight in doubles was when Ben made hoop 9 from the boundary line with a two bounce jump shot that took us to 5-4 in game two of the doubles.

Click to read more ...

Sunday
Dec022012

GC WTC: Egypt 7, New Zealand 6

JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA -- Reports are coming in now that Egypt has won the WCF's Golf Croquet World Team Championship 7-6 over New Zealand. Scores are available from croquetscores.com:

http://www.croquetscores.com/2012/gc/golf-croquet-world-team-championship/egypt-vs-new-zealand-final

In such a close test there are likely several key moments, but Stephen Mulliner noted this segment in his extensive summary on the Nottingham List, which seems crucial:

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
Nov162010

Morning Coffee: Stark Court Dedication Photos, Rothman and Australian Open Prep

Kicking off this Wednesday morning and there is a lot of croquet going on as the U.S. has wrapped up some recent GC action and now the southern hemisphere is rolling into play. To update the Croquet Network scene, there are great materials lined out for what should have been the October/November issue of Croquet Network magazine. Job changes for me have really eaten into my person time and the issue though nearly finished has slowed to a crawl. The Croquet Network mission is not in jeopardy, but it's clear that once I am able to get this issue out, that I'll have to remove myself from the editorial function. I can still punch out the short columns and web-based materials, but the more in-depth pieces are going to be outsourced. In short, thank you for your patience and just know that this thing is still moving forward and the plan is to take it up another notch in 2011. On to the regular news ...

Through Mike Orgill and Genie Hendry, we are able to present a gallery of photos (click any of the thumbnails to move into slideshow mode) from Sarah Adler taken at the dedication of the Meadowood Croquet Lawns in honor of Jerry Stark that occurred on October 27.

In case you missed it, Ben Rothman capped a productive fall season by snagging the USCA Golf Croquet National Championship last weekend at Mission Hills in Rancho Mirage, California. Forty players partcipated in the event and Rothman had to contend with a championship flight that held top GC players Mohammad Kamal and Sheriff Abdelwahab along with hardcore U.S./association players such as Danny Huneycutt and Rich Lamm. Speaking of Huneycutt, Rothman just missed on picking up what would be the triple crown of USCA croquet singles play due to Huneycutt.  Rothman has the U.S. Rules and GC Championships for 2010 but Huneycutt won the U.S. Association title back in April. Can we promote this idea of USCA Triple Crown? Looks like the list of GC champions should be added to the USCA Champions page.

You may have also missed a review of the MacRob Competition posted by Jim Bast in the main CWO forum. The post is a bit unique in that it compares the first U.S. appearance in the Mac versus the most recent. A brief excerpt:

The feeling that accompanied getting the USA accepted, and being selected for the first team, was an odd combination of relief and euphoria.  We knew that we were living history and it was amazing to be a part of it.  But once the Mac was underway it became a true "deer-in-the-headlights" situation.

Moving on to the southern hemisphere and there's been a lot of action in New Zealand. Results from the Gold and Silver Mallet tournament are available with Paul Skinley taking the Gold and Toby Garrison taking the Silver. The GC Gold and Silver Star tournament took place this past weekend at the Richmond Croquet Club. Phillip Drew took the Gold Star and Eleanor Hannay took the Silver. Under way this week is the NZ Scratch to 3 Bisques tournament in Pukehohe. In doubles, Hamish Mcintosh and Sean Foster are early winners.

Meanwhile Australia is getting ready to set the wickets for the 61st Australian Open which will be held November 19-20 in Melbourne. There is a full PDF program available with details on the event and a list of participating players follows:

Robert Fletcher (Vic)
Bruce Fleming (Qld)
Ken Bald (Vic)
Stephen Richards (NSW)
Trevor Bassett (NSW)
Kevin Beard (Vic)
Jim Nicholls (NSW)
Dennis Bulloch (NZ)
Tim Murphy (NSW)
Liz Fleming (Qld)
Alan Walsh (NSW)
Albert Rutten (SA)
Greg Rowberry (SA)
Alan Honey (NSW)
Rosemary Graham (NSW)
Robyn Stock (NSW)
Charlotte Morgan (SA)
Steve Jones (Qld)
Martyn Prins (NSW)
Judy Wembridge (Vic)
Mike Hughes (NSW)
Basil Ladyman (WA)
Ray Vize (NSW)
Stephen Howes (NSW)
Rosemary Newsham (Qld)
Ray Irlam (Vic)
Greg Fletcher (Vic)
Peter Landrebe (NSW)
Jenny Clarke (NZ)
Malcolm Fletcher (Vic)
Ken Edwards (NSW)
John Levick (NSW)
Alison Sharpe (NSW)
Claire Bassett (NSW)
Tom Knight (Qld)
David Wise (SA)
Tricia Devlin (Vic)
Tony Hall (NSW)
Geoff Kingdon (Tas)
Dick Smith (Qld)
Gareth Bushill (NSW)
Judy Evans (Vic)

Sunday
Aug222010

Great Britain Wins The MacRobertson Shield

Great Britain secured their seventh straight MacRobertson Shield with Keith Aiton's win this morning over Australia's Martin Clarke Aiton -16,  +19tp,  +26tp. The current score is 12-5 with four matches left to play.

New Zealand secured second place yesterday against the United States. The Americans took two of three matches today and the final test score is NZ 15, US 5.

Placings will be as follows:

1. Great Britain
2. New Zealand
3. United States
4. Australia

Photos from Adrian Wadley

Tuesday
Aug172010

Morning Coffee: MacRob Drama, Nine-Wicket and the Weeds Mallet

Coffee in the evening? Why not?

The truth is this is only the second team croquet event that I've covered with last December's Solomon Trophy being the first. I think I may be spoiled because that event and this year's MacRobertson Shield have been wildly captivating.

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
Aug102010

Morning Coffee: MacRobertson Shield

It's a rough month to have a croquet event or story and expect to get any attention. Clearly, the eyes of serious croquet players across the world are on Great Britain and the MacRobertson Shield competition. The U.S. team shocked the British team with a 3-0 sweep on day four to pull to 8-7. There had been talk about the British team clinching and now they go into the final day needing three wins. The Americans have the tougher challenge as they will require four wins out of the six matches.

Click to read more ...