NZ Men qualify for World Junior Champs


NZ ecstatic after their Quarter-final win

19 Dec 2023 – The NZ Junior Men have capped off a great year for Kiwi teams on the international stage, becoming the fourth Kiwi team to qualify for their 2024 World Championship in the last few weeks.

The side narrowly lost their opening match against Latvia at the World Junior-B Championships in Lohja, Finland. However, they then won their five remaining pool games on the bounce to top their group.

Three of those wins came down to the last stone, proving to be a real test of patience and nerve for the team of Will Becker, Sam Flanagan (skip), Darcy Nevill, Hunter Burke, Jed Nevill and coach Nelson Ede.

That earned them a quarter-final against Ukraine. At stake was a semi-final berth, but also the bigger prize of qualification for the 2024 World Championship for the four top-ranked nations. A four-point haul in the third end gave the Kiwis a handy lead, and they finished it with a hit for one in the last end for a 7-5 win and the coveted ticket to the Worlds.

Canada beat NZ 7-4 in the semi-final, and Denmark avenged their group-stage loss to the Kiwis when they won their bronze medal game 7-5. Canada won the gold ahead of USA, and these four teams completed the 10-strong field for the World Junior Championship at the same venue in February.

The Junior Women's tournament was held immediately before the Men's.

It was a less-than-perfect introduction for the Kiwi Women when their luggage and broom bag failed to arrive with them in Helsinki. Fortunately, the luggage was only 24 hours late and their broom bag arrived the day before the first games.

Rachael Pitts, Ruby Kinney, Olivia Russell, Lucy Neilson, and Tahlia Petersen, with coach Mhairi-Bronté Duncan, got their tournament off to a promising start as they won two of their first three games.

They were not able to add to the win tally for the last two games though, and finished fourth in their pool and 15th overall. China, Canada, Germany and Türkiye were the four teams to qualify for the Worlds.

This was the last year in the junior (under-21) ranks for Rachael, Ruby and Lucy, so it will be a very different NZ Junior Women's team for 2024.


 NZ Results

NZ Junior Men
Group C Results Group C Standings W  L Qual
NZ5-6Latvia 1New Zealand51Q
NZ8-7Denmark 2USA51Q
NZ9-7USA 3Denmark42Q
NZ10-1England 2Latvia42 
NZ10-4Brazil 5Brazil24 
NZ5-4Hong Kong 6Hong Kong15 
Quarter-final Q = qualified for playoffs
NZ7-5Ukraine NZ qualify for World Championship
Bronze Medal game  
NZ5-7Denmark NZ finish 4th
NZ Junior Women
Group B Results Group B Standings W  L Qual
NZ4-9Hungary 1Hungary50Q
NZ10-3England 2Latvia41Q
NZ6-3Slovakia 3Ukraine32 
NZ2-10Ukraine 4New Zealand23 
NZ3-8Latvia 5Slovakia14 


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