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MacRobertson ShieldMacRobertson Shield Won by Great Britain

6-22 August 2010
Bowdon Croquet Club, Bowdon, Cheshire, England, UK
Bury Croquet Club, Heaton Park, Manchester, England, UK
Nottingham Croquet Club, Nottingham, England, UK
Roehampton Club, London, England, UK
Surbiton Croquet Club, Surbiton, Surrey, England, UK
by Leo Nikora from MacRobertson Shield 2010

Great Britain won the MacRobertson Shield, winning all three of its Tests against Australia, New Zealand, and United States. NZ came in second, upsetting both Aus and US, and losing only to GB. US came in third, beating Aus.

Team US got off to a great start, winning the first day of play against GB, then sweeping GB the second day, but narrowly losing to GB 12-9 Matches on the last day. US went on to beat Aus convincingly 14-7 Matches. This is the fourth time US has finished third.

Complete results for all countries are at 2010 MacRobertson Shield Results, and detailed commentaries of all games are at 2010 MacRobertson Shield Commentary. Pictures of the USA-GB Test are at Bowdon Croquet Club. An analysis of each contry's performance was made by Chris Clarke of New Zealand.

The MacRobertson Shield is the top tier of the World Croquet Federation (WCF) World Team Championship for International Croquet, competed for every 3-4 years by teams of six players representing Australia, New Zealand, Great Britain and the United States of America. See the history of the event. Great Britain is the current holder. The United States first competed in 1993, and finished third the last three times (2000, 2003, 2006).

The Croquet Association (of England, Wales, Northern Ireland, Channel Islands, and Isle of Man), in collaboration with five of its member clubs (see above), is hosting the 2010 MacRobertson Shield. The four competing countries take turns hosting the event. The United States Croquet Association hosted in 2003 at the National Croquet Center in West Palm Beach, FL.

Each country plays one Test with every other country. Each Test consists of 21 Matches: 12 Singles and 9 Doubles.

Tests Great Britain Australia United States New Zealand Won
Tests Matches
Great Britain 1st 14-7 12-9 11-10 3 37
Australia   4th     0 22
United States   14-7 3rd   1 28
New Zealand   13-8 16-5 2nd 2 39

Each Match is two-out-three games.

Doubles Great Britain
United States Aiton
Mulliner
Maugham
Beijderwellen
Fulford
Lines
Bast
Huneycutt
+17
–26tp(A)
–23tp(M)
–15
+15
+5
–17tp(F)
+26tp(H)
+26tp(H)
Lamm
Soo
+26
+26tp(L)
–5tp(B)
+16
+26
–26tp(F)
–26tp(F)
Grimsley
Rothman
+27tp(R)
+19
–4
–4
–24tp(L)
–22tp(L)

Singles Great Britain
United States Fulford Maugham
Huneycutt –5tp, –15tp +26, +9
Rothman –26tp, –23tp +5, +10otp
  Beijderwellen Mulliner
Lamm –14, –26tp +13tpo,
–13tpo, –16
Bast –12tpo, –26tp –17tp, –22
  Aiton Lines
Grimsley +26, +14otp –10tp, –17
Soo +19, –20tp, +25tp –26, –4tp

Doubles Australia
United States Forster
M. Clarke
Fletcher
Dumergue
Landrebe
Beard
Bast
Huneycutt
+8otp(C)
+26tp(H)
+13tpo(H)
+11otp(F)
+26tp(H)
+26tp(B)
Lamm
Soo
3
+9
26tp(F)
+17
25tp(F)
+6
26tp(L)
26tp(L)
Grimsley
Rothman
+26tp(R)
+26tp(R)
26qp(F)
17
+4tp(R)
+17tp(R)

Singles Australia
United States Fletcher Forster
Huneycutt +3, +26tp +18tp, +3tp
Rothman +26tp, +26tp +26tp, +26tp
  Dumergue Landrebe
Lamm +13tpo, 13tpo, 26tp +26tp 15tp +26tp
Grimsley 26tp,+11, 15tp +4otp, +26tp
  M. Clarke Beard
Bast +17tp, 16, +17tp +26tp, 17tp, –17tp
Soo 26tp, 17tp +17tp, +3

Doubles New Zealand
United States Skinley
Wright
Bryant
J. Clarke
Chapman
Westerby
Soo
Lamm
23tp(S)
3
9
+26
17tp(B)
+26tp(S)
17tp(C)
+26tp(L)
Grimsley
Rothman
+15
+17tp(G)
26tp(B)
26tp(B)
+14otp(C)
26tp(C)
12tp(W)
Bast
Huneycutt
+12
+26tp(H)
+26tp(B)
12tpo(B)
12tpo(B)
4
26tp

Singles New Zealand
United States Chapman Westerby
Huneycutt 5, +26tp, 26tp 26tp, 7tp
Rothman +26tp 13tpo 10tpo 17tp, +26tp, +17
  Bryant Skinley
Lamm +20, 26tp, 24tp 17, +26tp, +13otp
Grimsley 6tpo, +26tp, 25tp 26tp, 26tp
  J. Clarke Wright
Bast 17tp, 23tp +25tp, +15
Soo 14, +5, 17tp 5, +25, 16tp

 
Rk. Player Co.
#3 Robert Fulford GB
#4 Paddy Chapman NZ
#5 David Maugham GB
#6 Robert Fletcher Aus
#7 Ian Lines GB
#9 Stephen Mulliner GB
#12 Rutger
Beijderwellen
GB
#13 Danny Huneycutt USA
#14 Ben Rothman USA
#16 Aaron Westerby NZ
#17 Ian Dumergue Aus
#21 Stephen Forster Aus
#24 Keith Aiton GB
#25 Doug Grimsley USA
#27 Greg Bryant NZ
#29 Martin Clarke Aus
#30 Paul Skinley NZ
#33 Rich Lamm USA
#42 Jim Bast USA
#46 Michael Wright NZ
#48 Peter Landrebe Aus
#58 Jeff Soo USA
#67 Jenny Clarke NZ
#70 Kevin Beard Aus

Average Rank Country
#10.0 Great Britain
#30.8 United States
#31.7 New Zealand
#31.8 Australia

Team Players

Captains are pictured first, then players in alphabetic order. Click on any picture to enlarge it.

Australia

Great Britain

New Zealand

United States

Peter Landrebe
Peter Landrebe

Keith Aiton
Keith Aiton

Aaron Westerby
Aaron Westerby

Jeff Soo
Jeff Soo

Kevin Beard
Kevin Beard

Rutger Beijderwellen
Rutger Beijderwellen

Greg Bryant
Greg Bryant

Jim Bast
Jim Bast

Martin Clarke
Martin Clarke

Robert Fulford
Robert Fulford

Paddy Chapman
Paddy Chapman

Doug Grimsley
Doug Grimsley

Ian Dumergue
Ian Dumergue

Ian Lines
Ian Lines

Jenny Clarke
Jenny Clarke

Danny Huneycutt
Danny Huneycutt

Robert Fletcher
Robert Fletcher

David Maugham
David Maugham

Paul Skinley
Paul Skinley

Rich Lamm
Rich Lamm

Stephen Forster
Stephen Forster

Stephen Mulliner
Stephen Mulliner

Michael Wright
Michael Wright

Ben Rothman
Ben Rothman

Player Rankings

Rankings are as of August 4th, after all the warm-up games were played.

Rk Player           Co Grd  Gms Wins  Index  %    tp  tpo otp sxp 
 3 Robert Fulford   GB 2736  81  60   2657   74   46   4   0  10 
 4 Paddy Chapman    NZ 2730 133 112   2766   84   82   4   4   3 
 5 David Maugham    GB 2725 133  97   2764   73   68   3   2   7 
 6 Robert Fletcher  AU 2673 177 136   2727   77   91   6   3   2 
 7 Ian Lines        GB 2657 118  93   2527   79   50   1   0   0
 9 Stephen Mulliner GB 2628 171 128   2654   75   75  11   2   7 
12 R Beijderwellen  GB 2584  89  56   2599   63   35   1   0   4 
13 Danny Huneycutt  US 2583  85  59   2533   69   45   1   0   0 
14 Ben Rothman      US 2569 130 100   2539   77   65   1   0   2 
16 Aaron Westerby   NZ 2562  86  60   2576   70   28   2   0   0 
17 Ian Dumergue     AU 2556  45  32   2585   71   25   1   1   0 
21 Stephen Forster  AU 2520  76  54   2566   71   30   2   1   0 
24 Keith Aiton      GB 2498  84  50   2540   60   39   4   4   0 
25 Doug Grimsley    US 2477  58  38   2375   66   18   0   1   0 
27 Greg Bryant      NZ 2470  44  29   2470   66   14   1   1   1 
29 Martin Clarke    AU 2464 117  89   2472   76   40   5   0   0 
30 Paul Skinley     NZ 2463 108  77   2482   71   34   1   1   0 
33 Rich Lamm        US 2444  87  60   2416   69   30   4   0   0 
42 Jim Bast         US 2386  82  48   2404   59   26   1   0   0 
46 Michael Wright   NZ 2366  73  38   2314   52   13   2   1   0 
48 Peter Landrebe   AU 2362 132  86   2247   65   34   4   3   0 
58 Jeff Soo         US 2337  59  37   2279   63   17   1   0   0 
67 Jenny Clarke     NZ 2312  77  47   2298   61   14   0   0   0 
70 Kevin Beard      AU 2303 171 115   2280   67   35   1   0   0 

Country Analysis

31 August 2010
by Chris Clarke on Nottingham List

Now I'm back in NZ, I thought I'd write an overview of the 2010 Mac. It was one of the most interesting Macs that I can remember. Nothing ever went quite the way people expected. Even when the teams form was "known" after two weeks and everyone expected a close USA v NZ match, we had the most one-sided match of the event.

First of all, I must say that all the venues did a great job of preparation and were unlucky to have such bad weather to make all the playing conditions easier than desired. Whilst I think "travelling" Series are better than "One Venue" Series, having all the teams together for the final week was great.

When GB nearly lost the Mac in 2000, there were many questions asked as to why, but the fact that we had beaten Australia 20-1 and USA 19-2 meant that this was just a momentary blip of NZ playing well and GB underperforming. The 2010 Mac was no such thing. With wins of 12-9, 11-10 and 14-7, GB can consider themselves fortunate to have retained the Shield. In fact, NZ won more matches than GB. Whilst GB clearly underperformed, there is also strong evidence that the other countries have become stronger. This is very positive for the sport.

Looking at the teams in reverse order.

Australia were a better team than 4th place suggests. All of their players had strong performances in patches. However, I felt that they were the weakest team tactically and this was important.

Robert Fletcher showed that playing at number 1 in your first Mac is a big challenge. Whilst he looked like a quality player throughout, patches of weaker than normal shooting led to him losing repeatedly in the last 2 Tests.

Stephen Forster is a player that I enjoy watching. He is fluent and plays in a controlled manner. He probably needs to improve his TP completion rate to justify a position in the top 2 of a team.

Ian Dumergue looked pretty shaky when I saw him on day 1, but by the Surbiton Test, looked like a solid confident player.

Martin Clarke was probably the player who played worse than I had anticipated. However, unlike most Macs, no player was bad and Martins +26tp +17tp win against Jeff Soo showed that he was in decent form.

Pete Landrebe and Kevin Beard both played averagely.

The USA played very much in line with my expectations.

Huneycutt started strongly and tailed off whilst Rothman did the reverse. I don't recommend TPOing either of these two players (or Grimsley for that matter). I should congratulate Huneycutt on becoming only the second American to win all 5 matches in a Mac Test by winning all his matches v Aus (Jerry Stark was the first in 2000 v Aus).

Bast was pretty good in patches, but needs to become a more consistent shot.

Lamm was really good at 6 yarders and a good peeler.

Soo was probably the weakest and looked nervy. However, he won 6 matches which was a fine effort from someone clearly not in top form.

New Zealand were very good. From my perspective, one of the big differences was how much better they were tactically than ever before. Their leaves were better, their pegged out endings were miles better and their choice of openings was better.

Chapman is a complete player. His understanding of popping and peeling turns is excellent. I would have liked to see him use a greater variety of openings and also to have used more defensive leaves after 3rd turn balls round, but that is minor criticism.

Westerby had some fantastic periods of shooting, but as usual struggled with the odd hoop.

Bryant was very good. Every aspect of his game was improved, but he sometimes takes too aggressive a line of play and is too unwilling to allow his opponent to miss.

It was great to see Skinley close to his best again. He is still an elegant player and croquet means more to him than anyone else I know.

[Jenny] Clarke struggled for the first two Tests and then (with Bryant) became the first Kiwi ever to win all 5 matches in a Mac Test.

Wright did really well to win 5 singles. He needs to improve his control and was often running his hoops from further than ideal.

GB clearly underperformed. Some of the team have a desire to always play as if they were playing singles. This did not make for good doubles performances. Perhaps the alarm bells should have started ringing when they lost to the "Rest" in their warm-up match.

Fulford was never quite on top form. However, his choice of openings and leaves was fantastic and he achieved the key thing in croquet, the combination of maximising your own performance whilst allowing your opponent to minimise theirs.

Maugham was unlucky. Whilst his form was bad in parts, every time he looked like he was about to play well, his opponent pulled out a good turn. His choice of leaves was also generally stronger than most players.

Beijderwellen has one of the best techniques that I have ever seen. Sometimes I wonder how he ever misses. Perhaps this is the reason that the remainder of his game has yet to fully develop. If he can add a greater understanding of openings, leaves and pegged out endings whilst improving his croquet strokes, he will be unbeatable.

Mulliner was his usual self. It is impossible to tell how he will play on any day. He can be dreadful one day and then perfect the next. His 5-1 singles record was slightly flattering and I didn't think there was a great deal to choose between Maugham and himself. His sextuple peel in his last game was a good turn.

Aiton struggled. Whether it was his inability to shoot or to run hoops, there was usually something not quite right. It is a huge credit to him that his croquet strokes are good enough for him to fall back on most of the time. I thought he played too many aggressive openings for his current standard of play and was delighted to see him try and keep the game tight in what turned out to be the critical match in the Test v NZ.

Lines was pretty impressive in an unimpressive kind of way. He knows his limits and plays to them. He shot solidly and played breaks solidly and only wavered when under the most extreme pressure v Wright on day 10. He played defensive openings and often reaped the reward. When you are the GB number 6, being average is usually good enough.

And so, GB won, but the sport won more. We now have a vibrant competition with exciting talented younger players like Chapman and Fletcher and plenty more Antipodean youngsters in the pipeline. The next event will be held in Jan/Feb 2014 in New Zealand. Surely GB can't keep getting away with picking the old fogies? Will Australia be 50% Fletchers? Only time will tell.

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