AUCKLAND, New Zealand – The first day of Oceania Men’s and Women’s Team Championships at the X-TRM North Harbour Centre in Auckland was sometimes closer than the scoreboard suggests.
During the first round of the men’s event, the young Tahitian team full of confidence from the previous night’s historic win over rivals New Caledonia, gave the Australians an early scare. Quentin Bernaix rushed to the lead with a 21-13 win over Pit Seng Low in the first game, and hearts were in mouths for an historic upset in the second, but Quentin couldn’t capitalise on five match points, Seng holding his nerve to move to a decider 24-22. The third proved to be more straightforward in favour of the Australian 21-14 much to the relief of the Australian bench.
Kyliam Scilloux came out fighting just as hard in the second men’s singles against Michael Fariman eventually succumbing 21-18 21-10. The final men’s singles and first men’s doubles matches went Australia’s way more easily, before Hugo Sauterau and Kyliam Scilloux had a good crack against Anthony Joe and Pit Seng Low going down 21-15 21-10.
In the other tie of the morning New Zealand accounted for New Caledonia more easily in their 5-0 win.
In the afternoon’s second round of ties the young New Caledonian players came out fighting hard against Australia – Yohan De Geoffroy making a good fist of his match against Pit Seng Low 21-18 21-7, and 14 yr old Ronan Ho-Yagues fought some intense rallies eventually going down to Anthny Joe 21-9 21-11. From then on in the tie went Australia’s way 5-0.
The Tahitians were overpowered by New Zealand’s men’s singles more easily, until the third match when Kyliam Scilloux put up an early fight against James Eunson going down 21-17 21-4. Both doubles matches started out in a bit of an arm wrestle before the Kiwis exploited the tiring Tahitians.
In the women’ event with an additional fifth team, three rounds were needed on the first day of play. Guam found their debut tough against Australia and despite the one-way score line, were highly motivated by the opportunity to play the vastly more experienced international players.
The Tahitian girl’s appeared flat after their emotional effort the previous night and were easily out classed by their New Zealand opposition.
In the second round in the middle of the day the young Tahitian girls gave a better performance against Australia, with the same 5-0 result.
The more exciting matches came in the New Caledonia vs Guam tie, with the girls from Guam showing they are quick to learn from their match experience. Grace Cai had a good crack against Cecilia Moussy 21-14 21-8, whilst her sister Sarah also performed well against Johanna Kou 21-19 21-12. Emily Yang showed much improvement taking on the young Dgenyva Matauli 21-8 21-11. In the doubles the twins teamed up against the Kou/Moussy combination going down 21-15 21-12. And to finish off it was an all-junior affair with Michelle Kremper and Emily Yang showing great fighting spirit against Matauli and Soizick Ho-Yagues, with the Cagou rounding out their 5-0 win 21-15 21-17.
In the third and final round the young Guamanians were easily accounted for 5-0 by the Kiwi girls, and the New Caledonians had a similar 5-0 experience against the fancied Australians.
Oceania Men’s and Women’s Team Championship
Results and Standings available here