Photo supplied by Neil Gardner – nzsnaps.com
Brilliant sunshine with just a few clouds meant that the conditions were perfect for Ultimate on the second day of the WFDF 2012 World Ultimate and Guts Championships. And with all the grass fields being in operation and full of players it really felt like a World Championship tournament. There were quite a few games on Day 2 today and a couple of surprises. First up the New Zealand women had their first game and it was against Great Britain – a game they knew would be hard but also knew if everything clicked they would have a good chance. Both sides played well and the game came down to a golden point in timecap which Great Britain finally managed to take. The kiwis were disappointed with the result but pleased with the performance.
Before this day nobody would think that any Australian team had beaten a USA team at a World Championship tournament and Australia now finally triumphed. The Open Masters team from “Down Under” beat the USA 16-13 with legendary Tom ‘Gak’ Rogacki leading the scoring with 5 goals and 2 assists. By the end of the thoroughly entertaining game there was a large audience watching and one can think it was a popular result with the fans.
Back in the Women’s division there was a top of the table clash between USA and Canada on the main field (S1) during the afternoon and the large crowd was treated to one of the best women’s games ever. The standard of play was excellent and both teams were happy to play an impressive long game at times. It was always going to be close and the US started well and kept the lead until just into the second half when Canada finally pulled ahead 11-10. This was the start of a great push by the Canadian women and they mercilessly pressed home point after point with the USA only managing one more goal on the way to a Canadian victory 16-12 in timecap. Not a great day for the USA teams.
The final game of the day was a masters clash between Japan and France. Many people expected Japan to run away with this but after three points it was a massively fired up French team ahead 2-1. Unfortunately for the spectators this didn’t carry on and Japan went on a huge 9 goal streak to really break the spirit of the French team before comfortably winning 17-7.
On Day 3 the artificial turf fields come into play as well with Ultimate taking over the soccer fields of J-Green Sakai for the next few days. The first Women Masters and Guts games start on Tuesday and there are a lot of pool play games. On Monday, games to watch include Canada vs Australia in the Women’s, Australia vs Great Britain in the Mixed and USA vs Japan in the Open Masters.
With material from “The Sakai Times” – the official WUGC newsletter.