Ravi Vasudevan continues his comprehensive Men’s coverage with a summary of the most interesting power pool so far.
Power pools kicked off today in the Men’s division. Pool M contained four European powerhouses in Germany, Switzerland, Sweden and Austria. Two out of the three rounds happened today, making for a lot of crazy action, some surprising results and a whole lot of German speech in the games.
Let’s get one thing straight; Germany are the class of this pool. They took care of Austria 15-10. Austria hung with Germany in the first half, but Germany got their first break at 8-6 and walked away with the game in the second half. In their second round, Germany dominated Sweden 15-6.
However, the other three teams produced a couple of fantastic games between them today including best Men’s game that I have seen at this tournament. Switzerland took on Sweden in a game chock full of brilliant throws, epic layouts and insane skies. The most impressive on the Swiss side were Aaron Riedle and David Moser, who ended up catching the final point of the game to lead Switzerland to a 15-14 victory. On the Swedish side, Anders Dahlberg and Jonathan Sjögren lead the stats board with some high grabs that looked impossible from afar. I won’t say too much more about this game, because you can just watch it if you want. (You should.)
In round two, Austria took on Switzerland. Austria are a country who have a number of top club teams that regularly attend EUCF including Catchup Graz, thebigEZ, FWD>> and Innsiders. Their U23 team also made some noise last year. However, their Senior Men’s team came fifth last year at EUC. Things seem to be clicking for them well at WUGC, though, as they took on Switzerland, who had impressed everyone by beating France and dominating Italy yesterday. Austria came out firing and Switzerland just did not have a response for Valentin Vogl and Michael Gaisl. Austria started off with an offensive hold and a break to go up 2-0 and though Switzerland got one break back early in the game, Austria always seemed to be comfortable with their lead and closed the game out with a 14-10 win. Notably, Swiss star player Robin Brüderlin was not playing in the game and seemed to be nursing a slight injury to his calf.
This has big implications for tomorrow. One may think that Austria can handle Sweden tomorrow and then Germany, Austria and Switzerland would move on. However, I never count out the Swedes in important games. They have made a habit for decades of underperforming early in WUGC tournaments but then coming out big when it counts. If Sweden can win the game there will be a three way tie between Sweden, Switzerland and Austria. If they win by less than seven points then that will take Switzerland out of contention rendering their epic universe win against Sweden all for naught. That is, unless Switzerland manage to beat the Germans in their game which, though unlikely, is definitely possible. Keep an eye on this pool tomorrow for more epic games with different dialects of German being shouted from the sidelines.