One of New Zealand's most decorated bowlers will leave the world championships in Adelaide without a medal after fours skip Richard Girvan experienced another early exit in the pairs competition yesterday.
A member of the gold medal-winning quartet in Christchurch four years ago, Girvan hopes of defending that crown were obliterated last week and his combination with Shannon McIlroy also foundered at Holdfast Bay when they were eliminated before their final pool match.
The damage caused by back-to-back losses to Wales and Jersey on Friday proved irreparable and although they beat the Philippines 18-10 in the penultimate round, England's 17-10 defeat of Hong Kong sealed the Kiwis' fate before the English drove in the final nail with a 17-12 triumph.
The women's four of Lisa White, Jan Khan, Mandy Boyd and Jo Edwards also exited after squandering a gilt-edged opportunity to advance after early results went according to plan.
They improved a place to third in their group after thrashing Canada 25-8 as Scotland beat their closest rival, the Philippines, 18-13, but slipped back to fourth and out of the running when upset 15-14 by Botswana.
The Africans had only won three of their previous 10 matches before sabotaging the Kiwis with a classy finish.
- © Fairfax NZ News
Should South African teams be ditched from Super Rugby?Related story: Andrew Mehrtens: Let's ditch South Africa