England shine in World Cup polo

  • Eight teams arrived in Melbourne, Australia for the finals of the 2001 Polo World Cup run by the Federation International of Polo.

    Qualifying rounds had been held world-wide over the past six months.

    A team from Argentina qualified direct as reigning champions and Australia as the host nation. The other six teams represented England, Italy, India, USA, Canada and Brazil.

    The World Cup final is played on “pooled” horses provided by the host country.

    The tournament was played as two leagues and the two top teams in each league qualified for the semi-finals.

    Zone A comprised Argentina, England, USA and India: while Zone B comprised Brazil, Australia, Canada and Italy.

    Argentina started as favourites with Brazil a close second and England strongly fancied.

    However, fate struck a cruel blow to both Argentina and England, whose teams were well rehearsed and cohesive.

    Although Argentina beat the USA they lost their No 2 Mariano Uranga in a nasty accident.

    England beat India, but when their captain Luke Tomlinson had his right thumb broken and they lost the match against USA by one goal.

    This meant that in order to qualify for the semi-finals England had to beat Argentina in their last league match.

    England not only won the match to qualify, but won by four goals, which put Argentina out of the competition, letting the USA into the semi-finals.

    In Zone B no team won a match by more than two goals. Two of the games were tied, those between Italy and Brazil and between Australia and Canada.

    Brazil came out as top of league B and Australia and Canada tied for second place, but as the match between them was tiedAustralia got through on a better net goal score.

    The final between Brazil and Australia saw Brazil just coming out the winners 10-9.

    England took the bronze with a stunning display against USA winning 12-8.

    Final team result

    Brazil: 1, L Junquiera (2) ; 2, A Rosa (4); 3, R. Andrade (5); bk, O Novaes (5)

    Australia: 1, D Slack-Smith (1); 2, A Williams (4); 3, M Field (4); bk, D Johnston (5)

    England: 1, T Pemble (1); 2, M Tomlinson (4); 3, L Tomlinson/ J Le Hardy (5); bk,. M Borwick (5)

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