New Zealand and the World Team Cup 1983
ALAN MASON from Christchurch joins the team as reserve, enjoying his time with 1st Division Sheffield. The song remained the same for the first round; KIWIS V Poms V Ockers V Yanks, with 1st & 2nd off to the Intercontinental Final at Wimbledon the next month. Things changed from there but right now, it was all on at Reading, Sunday May 15. Could TREVOR REDMOND see his boys do any better than the 8 point returns of the previous two years? It was time for fun in the sun;
Heat 1. MAUGER, Carter, Schwartz, Regeling.
1st USA 38
2nd England 27
3rd NEW ZEALAND 20
4th Australia 11
The Yanks, 'Post Penhall' were in a class of their own. England were made to fight for that second place and I don't think even TREVOR REDMOND could have hoped for his sides brilliant first half performance. After ten heats, NEW ZEALAND had 17 points to the Poms 12.
What turned the tide? Two wonderful wins from Wiggy, two disastrous ducks from MAUGER. Morton swinging into top gear and a mass collapse by LARRY ROSS. "The kiwis must be kickin themselves aboot this!" DAVID BARGH perhaps should have taken another two points from the struggling Crump and Titman, but his outriding Rod Hunter salvaged at least one point worth of pride. Australia were already on the back foot with Gary Guglielmi injured and unable to ride.
Heat 16 is a You-tube favourite. The score was England 24 - NZ 20. So it was all about pride. If ROSS could win and Collins was last, it would have put the KIWI side just one point behind England. And this is where Collins rose to the occasion. Sanders makes the gate from ROSS, Collins and Schwartz. The American takes Collins on the first turn. On the second lap, Schwartz takes ROSS also on the first turn and then Collins passes ROSS down the back straight. Then he began to stalk Sanders and Schwartz.
On the last lap, PC was still third but on the very last turn, he rounded the leaders and then on the dash to the chequered flag, split Schwartz and Sanders to win in a photo finish. Breathtaking stuff! Somehow, Sanders goes from a sure 3 points to 1 in a couple of seconds! A disheartened ROSS trailing home last. That race summed up the day for England. That 'British Bulldog' spirit gave an eagle, a Kangaroo and a KIWI, a right old savaging. Schwartz would not have cared less. Sanders and ROSS were rightly humiliated.
It was then over to Wimbledon where Denmark won the Intercontinental Final from the USA putting them both into the August Final. The home team England well and truly done for dinner. But it was not all over for the Poms. A safety net had been put in place. They went to the Continental Final at Abesnberg, West Germany in July, winning from CZ, West Germany and the USSR. The August Grand Final?
1983 World Team Cup Final. Vojens. Denmark.
For Sir Ole Olsen, this was his third World Cup Gold medal and World Cup farewell, and it was 'D-day' for the competition. This sparked the era of the 'Main Dane' and the 80's 'Danish Domination'. Hans Nielsen and Erik Gundersen. What IVAN MAUGER and Ole Olsen were to the 70's, these two would be for the 80's. But these two were on the same team!
This article was first published on 19th February 2017
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