Swedes and Italians extend winning run at Le Gruyère AOP Europeans

  • Sweden’s skip Niklas Edin © WCF / Alina Pavlyuchik

After Monday morning’s fourth men’s round-robin session, defending champions Sweden and Italy remain the two undefeated teams at the top of the rankings.

Of these two, Italy had the more straightforward win, beating Finland by 11-4 in just eight ends. On the way to this win, in the sixth end, Italy’s skip Joel Retornaz hit out a Finnish stone to extend his team’s lead to 7-4.

Afterwards he said, “the show rolls on – so far so good, what can I say? We’re performing well, and we’ve got four wins on the board now so we’re happy. We’ve got good momentum and we hope we can keep it for another few days. We didn’t think we’d be 4-0 because we know there are tough teams here in the Europeans – you can lose against any of them, so this is a good result so far.”

By contrast, defending champions Sweden were held all the way to the tenth end, at 3-3, by Russia. With the last stone of the game, Sweden skip Niklas Edin hit out the only Russian stone in the house to score two points and take the 5-3 win that keeps the Sweden title defence on track.

Germany also had a last stone win, by 6-5 over Netherlands, with, in the tenth end, Germany’s skip Marc Muskatewitz playing a hit and stay on the only stone in the house to score one and seal his team’s victory, by 6-5.

This win puts Germany in joint second place along with Scotland [third Grant Hardie pictured below], who beat Switzerland by 8-4. In the ninth end of this game, Scotland skip Bruce Mouat hit out a Swiss stone to score two points and seal his team’s 8-4 win. Afterwards, he said, “that was a good bounce-back after yesterday. They’re a world-class team, they proved that last year with their bronze at the Olympics. They’re definitely a team not to take lightly. That was obviously a big win there, so I’m feeling pretty good now.”

In the fifth game of the session, Norway beat Poland. In the fifth end of this game, Norway skip Steffen Walstad played a hit and roll-in to score three points in the end and take a 6-2 lead into the half-time break before winning by 9-3 in just eight ends.

Later, Walstad said, “we’re not quite where we want to be yet. I feel we’ve played four very good games – we’ve been up in all of them and then we’ve had some costly mistakes, giving up steals at the end, so we’re hoping to get that right.”

Session four results: Italy 11-4 Finland; Germany 6-5 Netherlands; Poland 3-9 Norway; Russia 3-5 Sweden; Switzerland 4-8 Scotland

Standings after session four:

Italy 4-0
Sweden 4-0
Germany 3-1
Scotland 3-1
Norway 2-2
Finland 1-3
Poland 1-3
Russia 1-3
Switzerland 1-3
Netherlands 0-4

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