There are just so many more quarterfinals when you look at 2 grades and I haven't even had a chance to glance at the Masters grades. Brilliant.
So, we will stay with the hockey until the round is complete and then maybe zoom out a bit and see whats happening at basecamps of the various teams and around the comp.
Aussie Women vs SA Ladies
This was a great game, I took a quick look and ended up watching the whole thing. Part of the entertainment value is Nick, Jack and Jack giving each other a big dose of banter but also always fun to hear all the terminology from the Aussies, they seem to have the thickest terminology dictionary around. Good value as well, constantly taking the piss out of their own team and in some cases family members in the time-honoured Aussie tradition.
Some great clips in this game caught on camera too. First, the SA ladies with the most complicated scoring ritual I've seen so far, almost rivalling Cuy's "big guns" goal celebration.
Next we have a classic from Aussie number 4 Sarah Walker, possibly... SA player flicks the puck past her head, so close to be honest it's probably a dangerous shot, but, and Sarah will be the only one to know this, am I the only one who sees her head dip suddenly into the path of the puck after it's gone past? Reflexes not quite quick enough to help it hit? It's all instinctive at that speed so who knows, but it wouldn't be the first time someone helpfully encouraged a close shot to make some contact... My deepest apologies to Sarah if she just had a tickle in her nose and sneezed at that moment, which is most likely the case.
Next, here is Zandre doing the old "I'm swimming the puck off you so fast I'll turn around and give you some eyeballs to the face as I do it...."
She is young, she is very fast. If I can just make a wild prediction with my crystal ball, she will do this until the time she tries it against a team that double-teams closely where the other forward will take the puck politely as it's offered and score a runaway. Until then, this adds to the drama perfectly. Thank you Zandre!
Just who is this mystery skills ninja? Watch her stick above the puck. Hai...ya!
I'm going to say Marie #2. Reminds me of Bruce.
Great skills and option-taking.
It's a wonder the refs don't have something to say about the Aussie hats, to be honest. All the Aussie women are essentially wearing extra-strength Toyota Landcruiser seatbelts all over their heads to keep their masks on with giant handles on the back of their noggins. Number? What number.
Stop knocking my mask!
I do understand where this originally came from, I remember a phase where me and all my mates were strapping all our junk to our faces, it was back in 2006ish. But, such a pain in the bum. A pain to setup, to undo, and if stuff does get pulled around hard you are in all sorts of trouble and have to take the whole thing off and start from scratch.
I was then putting on my gear next to old wise-one Sandor Duis one day and he casually said, oh don't worry about all that. Just put your mask on underneath your cap... No worries. And... HE WAS RIGHT! So right. Think about it. With all that strapping, any time anything touches anywhere on your head, snorkel or cap it wrenches your mask and you risk losing seal, so you have to strap everything super tight. 95% of the area of your head will affect your vision potentially.
Put your mask underneath, and anything that hits anywhere on your cap or snorkel doesn't affect your mask at all, it just slides above it. The only thing that can affect your mask is if you get a hit right to the mask, which is actually very very very rare, and even if it does you can simply blow the water out and re-seal in 2 seconds without even coming up, which you can't do very well with seatbelts. Maybe 15% of the area on your head will affect vision. And it's the 15% you can see best for and avoid stuff the best for.
Top tip from a guy who tried all the strapping cos he had lots of issues with masks getting knocked for a decade of internationals, then not a single issue in the next decade with strap under, despite sticking his head in sillier and sillier places as he tried to take more and more shortcuts as the younguns got faster and faster. But, who am I kidding. Those seatbelt people love being all strapped up, they won't listen to this, I've tried to tell them. I think it's like swaddling, a comfort thing, and I totally get that too! I couldn't sleep for years without the blanket covering my ear. I get it.
And here's a nice clean move from the SA side too, number 8 Tatton who does a mean run through a bunch of players after this too.
So many good bits on film in this game, if I ever coach girls again I'll be showing them this one. My oldest is 5 so there's a few years yet to wait I guess.
So this game ended up SA advancing over Aussie 5-3, and a very disciplined effort of restraint in the commentary box in the end from Jack and Nick, under very intense provocation from South African Jack's classic SA patriotism-based commentary. Celebratory shouting is all good when you're a neutral but difficult to listen to when his team is beating your team and he's sitting in the seat next to you. Classic stuff.