It’s day three in Royan, and the pool stages are finally drawing to a close in some divisions (Mixed, Women’s, Men’s Masters). Teams are finding themselves under pressure to get that last, necessary win to see themselves in the part of the bracket they want. And, of course, some results are going against the grain. Tune into fanseat.com to see some of the games back in full quality, or check out more of our coverage at live.wcbu2017.org/stories.
All the teams now only have one game left in the pool after today. Here’s how the pools are shaping up.
Germany are still looking strong, with their opening game win over second place France still proving decisive. They got a necessary 13-5 win vs Ireland to prevent a three-way tie. UAE Mixed got their first win of the tournament, beating Belgium 10-6
The story of the day was Philippines 11 – 8 Canada. That win sees the Filipinos undefeated at the top of the pool, with Canada forced into second. Venezuela prolonged a game to 65 minutes while mounting a comeback against New Zealand, but couldn’t quite make it (NZL 7 – 9 VEN final score).
Pool C is exciting! USA lost in sudden death to Sweden on a fanseat.com stream. This caused a three-way tie between Italy, USA, and Sweden. ITA 13 – 7 SWE, SWE 12 – 11 USA, USA 12 – 9 ITA are the relevant scores. Barring an upset in the final round, the group will end Italy top, USA second, Sweden third. Further down the pools, Guam won their first-ever game at international level, and it was on our streams! Read our preview on them here: http://wcbu2017.org/beach-tales/biba-guahan-guam-royan-show-belong/.
Russia squeezed out a 10-9 victory against Portugal, in a result that will surely see them top the group. Portugal, however, beat Great Britain 10-7 straight afterwards. This created a Portugal – Ukraine – Britain three-way tie for second. Portugal play Ukraine tomorrow at 12:30pm France time. Tune in if you can. And check out our report on the Russia team in their game against Austria: http://wcbu2017.org/beach-tales/game-review-russia-mixed-vs-austria-mixed/.
USA sit clear on eight wins. That isn’t the exciting part. Five teams have five wins, and are fighting for second. Netherlands have already played one more game than the rest, and are joined by Spain, Russia, Canada and Ukraine in facing a make-or-break day of games. Spain will be kicking themselves after a surprise sudden death loss to Switzerland, and Canada will be cheering their 11-10 victory against Russia for allowing them to be in this position. Russia’s 12-9 win vs Netherlands may prove decisive too.
Philippines keep winning, and an eventual USA-PHI final is the smart money right now. Australia got a 9-8 victory against France to lead the fight for second place. Further down, GBR lost to France (13-9) but beat Australia (13-6) to keep pressure on the two teams above them. They’re tied with the Belgians (who lost to France 13-7) and Germany (who play France tomorrow). Everything is to play for in this group, with an exciting day of games still remaining.
USA and Spain are both unbeaten, with USA the only one of the two to be pushed to sudden death (10-9 victory vs Denmark). They play at 9am, get down to the beaches for that if you can. Meanwhile Denmark have been one of the stories of the tournament, beating Australia 8-7 in their final game today. Denmark will face a strong Canada side in the fight for third. Further down, UAE have been showing how much they’ve improved since last WCBU: http://wcbu2017.org/beach-tales/1578/.
For those that aren’t aware, Russia have been really strong at WCBU. Their Women are no exception, being unbeaten so far (an 11-9 victory over Great Britain their closest game). A three-way tie between Great Britain, Switzerland and France could prove decisive. However, all teams have played already played (GBR 9 – 10 SUI, SUI 9 – 10 FRA, FRA 6 – 13 GBR), so as long as all games go according to plan tomorrow, Britain will come out top, with Switzerland second. All of them behind Russia, of course.
The Mixed Masters pool is a 12-team round-robin, and so they’re only halfway through. Hosts France are joint top (after a narrow 11-10 victory vs Germany), and are the only unbeaten French team left in the tournament. They seem like the best chance for Royan to see some French medals. The USA join them at the top, with Canada and Germany close behind. Hungary came close to their second victory, but Colombia took the game 8-7. See our write-up on Hungary here: http://wcbu2017.org/beach-tales/hungarian-mixed-masters-reuniting-royan/.
The Men’s Masters pools have finally gone past the pool stage, with USA, France, Spain, Australia, Canada, Czech Republic, Great Britain and Netherland entering the upper power pools. Germany just missed out on the top flight by a three-way tie. USA, Canada and France carry zero losses through. An 11-10 victory for Czech Republic against Australia may see them make a surprise challenge in this division. Also, USA got two callahans and a phenomenal layout D during their 13-8 victory against GBR.
The Women’s Masters is also running as one giant pool. USA and Australia are unbeaten, with Canada and Great Britain right on their heels with one loss each (both to USA). Expect good games between Canada, Great Britain and Australia as we go forward. The pool is still developing, but it’s odd to see the Philippines right at the bottom, given their dominance in other divisions.
The only Grandmasters division amazingly features 10 teams, given the 38-years-old minimum age. USA are solidly unbeaten, a 13-5 win vs Canada their closest match. Great Britain, France and Finland sit joint second with one loss each. Great Britain to Canada (11-12), France to Great Britain (8-12), Finland to USA (3-13). Finland currently look in the best position of the three, having beaten Canada (11-6) and having only lost to the USA. Read our game report on the Great Britain vs France game here: http://wcbu2017.org/beach-tales/game-review-france-grandmasters-vs-great-britain-grandmasters/.
By Harry Mason.