Trans Tasman Gets Underway
10 Nov 2017
The New Zealand Blackjacks have their last chance to impress national selectors Sharon Sims and Peter Belliss on Australia's Gold Coast this weekend as they do battle with Australia's Jackaroos in the Trans Tasman Test Series.
With the Commonwealth Games dominating the 2018 landscape this will be the second Trans Tasman for 2017, held at the Broadbeach Bowls Club from Friday 10 to Sunday 12 November which includes senior, development and para-sport teams.
With Games spots up for grabs, a rough performance by individuals could open the door for other well credentialed squad members waiting in the wings.
World fours champions Mike Nagy and Blake Signal aren't selected and will ply their trade in Hong Kong's prestigious singles and pairs tournament while the Trans Tasman takes place. North Harbour's Tony Grantham and Broadbeach's Paul Girdler fill those spots and will be keen to take stake their Games claims on the greens of the Glitter Strip.
Mandy Boyd returns to the side as skip which looks to give the women's make-up a bit more balance. Recent World Champion of Champion singles bronze medallist Selina Goddard sits out while another impressive youngster Tayla Bruce gets her chance.
Blackjacks Assistant Coach Richard Girvan is hopeful of a good performance from his Blackjacks.
This Trans Tasman holds added impetus, with Peter and Sharon to name the Commonwealth Games side not long after. Girvan says as always when playing Australia, the drive is there to go well.
Current conditions on the Gold Coast are unfamiliarly blustery, with a possibility of light showers at some stage during the event. Temperatures are in the early to mid 20's.
Meanwhile Australian Coach Steve Glasson and his selectors have opted to pick three additional Jackaroos players within the senior sides, with the 13 players interchanging throughout each session.
Look for current Australian-ranked No.1's Barrie Lester and Carla Krizanic to continue their good run of form laying a solid platform up front for the likes of 2017 North East Valley 10,000 Singles winner Aaron Wilson and Karen Murphy.
The Jackaroos will be keen to continue their dominance of the event claiming 14 of 15 individual test victories in the June series and claiming all seven trophies on offer. The Australian men's senior side last dropped their individual test series way back in 2009.
With over 6,600 athletes and team officials from 70 nations converging on the Gold Coast for the 2018 Commonwealth Games, there is plenty to aspire to for New Zealand's developing players.
The Development sides will do battle alongside the Senior sides at Broadbeach, with a clear pathway to the top available to them.
World champions Shannon McIlroy, Ali Forsyth and Blake Signal all progressed through these sides, whilst young starlets Tayla Bruce, Katelyn Inch and Mandy Boyd are all now ingrained in the Senior women's team.
The young Blackjack hopefuls will have their hands full with the likes of World Champion of Champion singles winner Aaron Teys in the Australian Development side.
Play begins at 9:00am (AEST) on Friday 10 November at Broadbeach Bowls Club, with 12:00pm and 2:45pm sessions daily.
Senior Men- Shannon McIlroy (Nelson), Mike Kernaghan (Dunedin), Paul Girdler (Dunedin), Tony Grantham (North Harbour)
Senior Women- Jo Edwards (Nelson), Val Smith (Nelson), Mandy Boyd (Canterbury), Katelyn Inch (Canterbury), Tayla Bruce (Canterbury)
Athletes with a disability triples- Mark Noble (Manawatu), Barry Wynks (Manawatu), Bruce Wakefield (Canterbury)
Vision-impaired mixed pairs- David Stallard (Auckland) & Sue Curran (Waikato)
Men- Rory Soden (North Harbour), Bradley Down (Wellington), Taylor Horn (Auckland), Aiden Takarua (Auckland), Seamus Curtin (Wellington)
Women- Cait Bassett (Canterbury), Natasha Russell (Wellington), Nicole Toomey (Wellington), Paris Baker (North Harbour), Ashleigh Jeffcoat (Waikato), Kimberley Hemingway (Wellington)
Senior Men- Aron Sherriff (NSW), Aaron Wilson (NSW), Brett Wilkie (QLD), Barrie Lester (VIC), Nathan Rice (QLD), Wayne Ruediger (SA)
Senior Women- Karen Murphy (NSW), Carla Krizanic (VIC), Natasha Scott (NSW), Kelsey Cottrell (NSW), Rebecca Van Asch (TAS), Lynsey Clarke (QLD), Ellen Ryan (NSW)
Athletes with a disability triples- Tony Bonnell (QLD), Ken Hanson (Vic), Josh Thornton (VIC)
Vision-impaired mixed pairs- Jake Fehlberg (QLD), Lynne Seymour (QLD)
Men- Jono Davis (NSW), Aaron Teys (NSW), Sean Ingham (QLD), Jayden Christie (QLD), Corey Wedlock (NSW)
Women- Kristina Krstic (WA), Dawn Hayman (NSW), Samantha Noronha (NSW), Tiffany Brodie (VIC), Jessica Srisamruaybai (QLD)