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New Zealand and Denmark win minor places in Canada Cup

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It was finals day at the Canada Cup at the Richmond Olympic Oval on Saturday afternoon and it was Denmark and New Zealand who came out victorious in the opening, minor, finals.

Denmark sealed fifth place with a 51-42 win on the main court, while New Zealand avoided the wooden spoon as the managed a 56-45 win over Switzerland

After a tight opening the Danes took control and quickly pushed out to a four goal lead half way through the first quarter.

Sweden fought back to narrow the gap to 10-12 at the end of the first quarter but the sense was there that Denmark was always in control.

Denmark quickly restored their lead to three at 13-11 early in the quarter and from there they looked to do what was required of them as they could allow Sweden to score, with no pressure on the shoulders of the Danish players.

Just when it looked like Sweden were out of the game, the crucial steal came and Sweden were able to jump back in to it and close the gap to one goal late in the half and closed the gap to one before making it level at 23 at the break.

That seemed to anger Denmark and in the third they restored control and restored their lead as they went in to the final quarter 35-32 up on Sweden.

The Danish side exploded in the fourth quarter as they bombarded the Swedes with goal after goal which took the game away and sealed the 51-42 win.

In the lower ranking match, to avoid coming last New Zealand took on Switzerland, with both sides winless over the weekend, after a number of difficult games that had shown the two sides how much work they have to do ahead of the World Championships.

The Wheelblacks avoided the embarrassment of coming dead last as they managed a convincing victory over the Swiss 56-45.

With World Ranking points on offer in this tournament, this minor classification matches could well have deep meaning for the teams as they prepare for the World Championships beginning in August.

It’s clear that New Zealand, will have a lot of work to do if they want to return to their former glory at the Worlds.

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