FIP Xl Polo World Championships 18-29 October 2017
Opening weekend huge success and surprise match results
by Peter Hunter in Sydney
FIP XI has opened to great applause and with fanfare
THE FIP has opened with 4 great matches, bands, horse and jousting displays, a sonorific blessing from Aboriginal Tribal Elders and closed bombastically with a performance by Damage.
Nick Colquhoun Denvers FIP President made a welcoming speech congratulating Club Owner Peter Higgins and everyone at WPC Sydney and APF for an outstanding start.
It really has been the Brainchild & successful drive of Peter Higgins supported by a few key people that has driven this to take place and be the success it is. FIP ( and HPA ) have strongly supported off stage.
Public entry was delayed 90 minutes whilst the superb grounds were made safe following prolonged rain on Friday the day before. However the need for rain and great drainage meant the grounds were in perfect shape.
RESULTS 1st Day SATURDAY 21 OCT 17
Argentina, led by Valentin Novillo Astrada beat USA 12-9 ½
USA received ½ goal start as Thomas Panelo 17 yrs old and son of former 9 goal Esteban Panelo of Atlantic City Team went up to 3 goals in May after zone qualifying in January 17. USA played well, but let Argentina get 2 quick goals to start.
At the end Jesse Bray on an Ellerston pony “Amazon” was on fire to score 4 goals in 3 minutes to bring the final score up to a respectable 12 - 9 1/2 .
The coach of the USA team, Joel Baker said afterwards:
“Congratulations to Argentina, they played a great game, the kind of game we were trying to play. They are very slick in anticipation and they played an open game, making it look pretty easy. We will watch all the games and analyze how we can do better and rebound on Tuesday. I was very encouraged because we never quit, came back really well during the last chukka, and will carry on like that in our next games”
Australia beat Spain 10-9 in extra time
Australia with star Jack Archibald amongst others made a strong start going 3-0 up, but it was 5-5 by half time when Spain with Pelayo Berazadi and Mario Gomez took the lead 7-9. However Jake Daniels levelled the score and in a nail biting finish in extra time, Australia just managed to squeeze in the winning goal.
AUSTRALIAN Coach James said : "We need work on our throw ins and momentum to give us a good chance Tuesday against USA. We were lucky to score in extra time and to have Jake and Jack on such good horses –the crowd helped as 3 of us hadn't played for Australia before. We need more discipline especially in defence.”
RESULTS 2nd Day - SUNDAY 22 OCT 17
New Zealand lose 9-2 to Chile
The Chileans were very quick and made more of all the good horses and grabbed any loose balls –playing like a 16/7 goal team because of their coordination. Jose Zeggers played really well and scored many of their goals.
Chile’s Martin [ Valent?] said: ”2 of our players were nervous in their 1st international, but we were lucky with breakaways and scoring ; the Grounds and ponies outstanding – it makes the games really fun.”
CHILE next play INDIA on Wednesday 25 Oct 230pm.
NZ put up their team with 2 changes adding in Glen Sherriff and Adam Haworth. Cody Forsyth, the former 8 goaler, is their rock, but he dismounted from Centaur foiling an attack; New Zealand were slow to get going and once behind, found it hard to catch up, but will meld together for their next game on Wednesday against England at 1100.
After the game Cody said: "Chile started very well and the score didn't reflect the game, but Chile scored from long distances and were very good in defence; New Zealand need to score and be more accurate”
India lose 16-1 to England
India looked good on paper but didn't gel at all - reorganising now with a new plan we guess ...
England were very well drilled by Captain Satnam Dhillon - superb – and their coach Matias Magrini. All played as team, marked, ran well and called to each other.
England are 4th favourite team at present in our view, as follows:
1 Argentina worth 18g
2 Chile worth 17g
3 = Australia 16g and England 15.5g
and those above were the 1st round winners, followed closely by
5. Spain ( maybe worth 14.5 goals), USA, NZ and India all level pegging, but all capable of winning.
INNOVATIVE DETAIL – COLOURED CAP COVERS
The players have special covers on their helmets i.e. red for the number 3, Green for no 1, Blue for no 2, Black for Back.
Monday is day off. Useful as it rained all Sunday night .
Tuesday 24 October
1100 Argentina v Spain
1430 Australia v USA
Wednesday 25 October
1100 England v New Zealand
1430 Chile v India