Warwick man excels in title
WARWICK player Cameron Shepherd played strongly in the number one and two positions for the Australian polocrosse team which beat New Zealand 29-5 to secure a spot in the World Cup semi finals.
Cameron was the best of the men as Australia won 33-5 against Zambia on Friday.
On Saturday, the Australians lost their first game in a World Cup, 21-12 against Zimbabwe but rose to the occasion like true champions to beat the Kiwis in emphatic fashion on Sunday.
Warwick Polocrosse Club president Les Fraser said the Australian team bounced back from the loss to Zimbabwe by not letting the Kiwis into the game at any time.
“We only conceded two goals in the first four chukkas,” Fraser said.
Cameron started the game against New Zealand at number two for the second chukka, was on the sidelines for the fourth chukka and then played number one (goal shooter) in the final chukka.
“Overall the men have been pretty consistent with no standouts while Sandra Weston has stood out in the Australian ladies section,” Fraser said.
“I was not surprised to see the Australians in a tough match against Zimbabwe who should have been in the final last time except for a narrow loss.”
That loss was 19-16 to the United Kingdom on day one at Morgan Park in 2007.
He said Australia had its chance to beat Zimbabwe on Saturday.
“We were two behind going in the last men’s chukka and a couple of balls didn’t fall our way,” Fraser said.
Fraser said Australia and Zimbabwe were the two teams to stand out at this cup and were likely finalists.
“Australia was in the toughest pool by a country pool,” Fraser said.
With two wins in three games at Rugby, Australian coach Ross Shepherd has a win/loss record of 20-1, one of the best by a national coach.
In what would be a shock to many Warwick fans who watched the first two world cups, the United States has qualified for the semi-finals.
Zimbabwe and South Africa headed their pools with three wins from three games with both Australia and United States winning two games.
United States qualified courtesy of one point wins against United Kingdom and Ireland.
Hosts United Kingdom made the final four years ago but missed out this time due to losses to South Africa and United States by one goal.
They beat neighbours Ireland by one on Saturday.
Polocrosse action for the next four days involves European teams which missed the main draw and a development competition.
In semi finals on Friday (overnight Australian time), Zimbabwe will play United States.
Four years ago, Zimbabwe beat United States 21-12 when the two teams met. As was the case in 2007, Australia and South Africa will meet in the other semi final.
Four years ago, Australia won 24-19 in the toughest game played by the Australians in the first two world cups at Morgan Park in Warwick.
There are 20 members of the Warwick Polocrosse Club at the cup among a contingent of 45 from Queensland.
Western Australia has two players in the national team and 40 supporters at the cup at Rugby in Warwickshire.