Dear readers, today’s update is a rather short but also reasonably good (if you ask me). Today I concentrated on two teams: Team Canada Open and Team Canada Women. However, I spent quite a bit of time socializing as that’s probably one of the best parts of going to tournaments. Anyhow, due to my socializing I was only able to catch TCO vs Colombia, TCW vs Australia, and TCO vs Philippines. None of the games left me entirely satisifed with the results but after speaking with players on both teams I’m fairly satisfied now.
At 1100 Team Canada Open took on Colombia. Both teams were quite excited about the match, especially Canada as they considered it the first tough match of the tournament. While TC worked on hucks the Colombians ran cutting drills. With just minutes till the start I joined the Hong Kong Mixed team to cheer on the game. From the get go Canada came out strong and took command of the game. That command lasted throughout and Colombia could not respond. However, the biggest factor in the game was the wind. Both teams struggled with it not because it was strong but because of the way it flowed.
Coming directly from the west the wind came from behind the stands and then flowed into the stadium from both the north and south end. Since there’s a building on the south and east sides it was then forced north but not before swirling through the stadium in every which way. If you watched the NexGen stream then it should be obvious how much the wind affected the game considering the number of drops both teams had. Speaking with Matt Doyle and Alex Davis after they game they noted that they had seen the issues with the wind in the USA vs Germany game as well. I’ll keep an eye on the wind in there and chat with Lou and Chase as to what their thoughts are on it as well. Regardless, a good result for Canada.
A couple more notes from the game before moving onwards. Colombia had a sizeable cheering section as Mexico Open came by to support them. It was a rather large number of voices that were present cheering and it’s good to see the atmosphere develop early in the tournament. The second note I have is a bit of an issue that I’ve seen in the past when playing against Colombian teams and Colombians. Off of a timeout, Colombia possession, two handlers ran into each other and the upline throw turned over. Canada then took posession and made their way down the field rather easily. A bit too easily as it appears one of the handlers had called foul. Now, there was no issue if he had actually called foul and held his ground strongly, then it’s just a bad call and we bring it back and play on. What happened next was a two minute conversation where he attempted to plead his case. In my mind (not having seen the replay so I could be completely wrong, but probably not) the type of conversation happens when somebody is trying to save face. They’re not sure if they’ve been fouled and probably haven’t but need to save face. It was a sore spot for me in that game. To clarify, other teams also do the same, particularly Italy, and I’ve experienced it several times…when I played for Italy against Colombia in Prague. Anyhow, it did not affect the game but was something that bothered me about it.
During the break to the next game I had a chance to catch up to a few more folks before making my way to the Canada vs Austrlia Women’s game. Ulti.tv was setting up to record the match and I spent most of it speaking with Mike about his setup and where Ulti.tv is heading; more on that someday in the future.
The TCW vs Australia match was very interesting. Australia came out strong and went up 2-0 with one break. The Aussie ladies are a strong team with two strong lines that definitely aren’t afraid to huck it. They’ve developed quite well and Canada knew this considering their game against Japan. Kristin Laurin also noted they’d scrimmaged against them a few days ago with a close result and knew that it would be a tough game. Players noted that it was a tough grind with a few very long points. Wind was a factor as well with a strong crosswind (no obstructions) and both teams forcing to the downwind line. Easy movement allowed both teams to get to the line but then very good D by both teams left jamming it down the line as the only option. Canada changed defensive strategies slightly and that was the difference in the game. The score 17-7 is not indicative of how much closer the game was. Australia has developed well and I fully expect future results to be much closer.
Issues from that game? Only that the ladies seem to take a points to get going. We’ve seen it in their USA match and once again here, something to work on but then again, there’s always something to work on.
Final match of the day was a double feature. Canada vs Philippines Open on one field and Canada vs France Open Masters on the one beside it. The Open match was much closer than it should have been and the players admit they were not focused for it. The Philippines took advantage and showed off some excellent disc skills as well as abiilty to huck even with straight up marks. The end result was heavily in Canada’s favour. The Open Masers game also finished in Canada’s favour (17-5 I believe) with only the first half played closely. The French had good disc movement but Canada was a bit more…brutish in their efforts; I guess I see where we get our reputation as rough and tumble players. There were defintely more risks taken and better reads from TCOM and it’s something I’ve seen throughout the tournament. We’ll see how it fares against some of the tougher opponents they’ll have in the next couple of days.
Tomorrow I hope to catch up to Team Canada Mixed, Open Masters, Women’s Masters, and GUTS!!!! I have been able to watch a bit of TCM and TCOM but not any of TCWM. TCWM also had today off so they should be quite relaxed going into their next set of matches.