AUSTRALIA retained the Trans-Tasman lawn bowls trophy at Traralgon Bowls Club last week, winning nine out of 10 disciplines in a crushing performance ahead of the Commonwealth Games.
The Jackaroos won nine of 12 tests over three days and 126 matches of competition across open, development, under 18 and para-sport divisions to claim overall honours for another year.
With all 74 competitors chasing a berth in their respective teams for the Glasgow games, to be announced this week, Australian coach Steve Glasson heaped praise upon the Traralgon surface, which had been meticulously prepared to simulate those expected at Scotland’s Kelvingrove Lawn Bowls Centre in July.
“It’s vital (for preparation). We’re very lucky here in Australia we’ve got wonderful conditions, great facilities and all that sort of stuff so to come here and have it doctored up to suit Glasgow’s conditions is a blessing for us and a great preparation,” Glasson said.
“They’ve put a great deal of work into it so I can’t give enough praise for them; they’ve done exceptionally well.”
The Blackjacks earned consolation victories in the development division on day one, followed by para-sport and open test wins on day three last Thursday.
“New Zealand are a very strong opponent so it’s great to come away with so many series wins across the whole tour and yet we’re still looking for areas where we can improve as well,” Glasson said.
Kelsey Cottrell was among the best performed Australians throughout the series, dropping just two of her nine ties in total.
Cottrell’s second loss came in a dead rubber fours match to round out the week, in which she, Carla Odgers, Linsey Clarke and Karen Murphy fell just one shot short of yet another green-and-gold victory.
“I got off to a good start the first couple of days… we always have a close tussle with the Kiwis so as a team I think we did fantastic,” Cottrell said.
Looking to secure her spot in the Commonwealth Games team, Cottrell said Traralgon’s greens were the ideal warm-up for Scotland.
“It’s probably as close as we’re going to get to mirroring Glasgow, the green was great,” she said.
“To ask greenkeepers anywhere in Australia to slow the greens down to this pace, we’re very thankful that they’ve done it and done such a fantastic job.”
For full results visit www.bowlsaustralia.com.au