Ben Smith and Anton Hood, NZ v Switzerland at WJCC2019
Ben Smith and Anton Hood, NZ v Switzerland. Photo © WCF / Richard Gray

24 Feb 2019 – New Zealand's Junior Men's Curling side achieved their major goal at their first-ever World Championship, which has just concluded in Liverpool, Nova Scotia.

Their four wins saw them finish in sixth place overall, allowing them to automatically re-qualify for next year's event and avoid the World Junior "B" qualifier.

This is by far the best result for any New Zealand Junior side and could herald a step change for New Zealand curling.

Although their sixth-place finish was guaranteed before their last game against Canada, the team were still keen for a good performance.

NZ Men, 2019 World Junior B gold medallists
L-R: Peter Becker (coach), Jayden Apuwai-Bishop (Alternate), Hunter Walker (Lead), Ben Smith (3rd), Anton Hood (vice-skip, 4th), Matthew Neilson (skip, 2nd). Photo © WCF / Alina Pavlyuchik

11 Jan 2019 - New Zealand Curling history was made in Lohja, Finland overnight when the NZ Men's side won the gold medal at the World Junior B championships.

With the medal came an entry to the full World Junior Championships in Canada next month – the first by any Kiwi side.

The team of Matthew Neilson, Anton Hood, Ben Smith, Hunter Walker, and Jayden Apuwai-Bishop beat Italy 8-4 in the final.

They qualified from their pool with a 5-2 win-loss record. They then defeated Russia 6-4 in their quarter-final, and stole an extra end to pip China 6-5 in the semi to earn their shot at the gold.

2018 PACC bronze medal match
Handshakes for Warren Dobson and JeongJae Lee after the bronze medal game. Photo © WCF / Tom Rowland

12 Nov 2018 – They say it's a game of millimetres, and that was never more true than in the Men's bronze medal match at the Pacific-Asia Curling Championships 2018 in Gangneung, Korea

A feathered guard late in the game was all that stood between New Zealand and their first Pacific-Asia medal since 2011.

Some outstanding shot-making from the Kiwis had Korea on the back foot. An in-off to remove Korea's shot stone in the fifth end scored them a pair, and then a surgical removal to take three in the eighth end earned them a 3-point lead going into the ninth.

But the match turned when NZ's final shot of the ninth end to remove at least one of two Korean counters feathered that guard. 

Team NZL v Canada, WMxCC 2018
Team NZ in action against the hosts in Canada. Photo © WCF / Jeffrey Au

21 Oct 2018 – The bar was set high at the World Mixed Championship in Kelowna, BC, Canada said Team New Zealand skip Dave Watt.

"We didn't play bad," he said after the competition where they finished with a 1 win - 6 loss record. "We just got no breaks."

"Team Canada [the eventual gold medalists] told us that they played their best game against us up to that point," he continued. "Same with Slovenia – and Austria got up for us too."

"Against Norway we played well too – but did get some breaks!"

2018 NZ Senior Men's champions
Man's champions Iain Craig, Lorne DePape, Dave Watt and Dan Mustapic. Photo © NZCA

18 Sep 2018 – Team Dan Mustapic won their fifth straight NZ Senior Men's Championship undefeated last weekend, but they needed to warm into their task.

Mustapic found himself facing six counters as he lined up his last shot in the first game of the tournament against Ewan Kirk's Naseby side.

The game then went to an extra end after an attempted Mustapic takeout in the eighth end clipped a guard.

Their second match against Pete Becker was also close through the first five ends, before a three-pointer in the 6th broke the deadlock.

Ben and Jess Smith
Ben and Jess Smith in the Championship Final. Photo © NZCA

13 Aug 2018 – NZ Under-21 representatives Jessica and Ben Smith overcame five-time winners Bridget and Sean Becker to win their first NZ Mixed Doubles title in Naseby last weekend. They did it the hard way, overcoming a 4 point deficit in the opening end to triumph 6-5 in a very tense final.

The Smiths scored singles in the next four ends to draw level, but the turning point came in the sixth end.

Bridget Becker's last-stone hit to score a single rolled to the very edge of the house. Both umpires took some time with the biter stick before confirming that the stone was out of play, and so the end was blanked. Under Mixed Doubles rules that also meant they lost the hammer.

Anton Hood
Anton Hood at 2017 Pacific-Asia Championship. Photo © © WCF / Céline Stucki

7 Aug 2018 – The New Zealand Curling selectors have confirmed the teams to compete at November's Pacific-Asia Championships in the Republic of Korea, and January's World Junior B Championships in Finland.

The National Men's team is Scott Becker, Warren Dobson, Anton Hood and Simon Neilson.

The Pacific-Asia Championships 2018 will be held at the same venue that hosted this year's Olympic Curling tournament in Gangneung, Korea.

For the first time in 25 years, no National Women's team has been named.

Team Sean Becker
Hamish Walker, Sean Becker and Warren Dobson. Photo © NZCA

10 Jul 2018 – Sean Becker won his 10th NZ Men's Championships last weekend as he and his team of Scott Becker, Warren Dobson and Hamish Walker defended their 2017 title with a 7-5 win against Team Peter de Boer in the final.

This milestone achievement was also Scott Becker's 8th win in his brother's team, and the 7th for Warren Dobson.

Bridget Becker is only just behind Sean in the title standings. She clocked up her 9th NZ Women's Championship when she skipped Natalie Thurlow, Abby Pyle and Eloise Pointon to an 8-4 victory over Team Jessica Smith in their final.

NZL v Wales
NZ Men v Wales. Photo © WCF / Tom Rowland

28 Apr 2018 – The NZ Senior Men's side of Hans Frauenlob, Lorne DePape, Dave Watt and Iain Craig has been knocked out of the World Seniors Championship in Sweden.

They were the only one of the three Kiwi sides in action to reach the playoff rounds, and were beaten 7-4 by Scotland in the first round of knockout games.

New Zealand's Mixed Doubles and Senior Women's sides at the combined tournament in Oestersund both finished at the bottom of their respective pools.

2018 NZ Mixed Champions
NZ Mixed Champions 2018. Photo © NZCZA / Holly Gosse

6 Jun 2018 – Dave Watt, Brittany Taylor, Lorne DePape and Glenys Taylor won the year's first national title, staying undefeated to claim the 2018 NZ Mixed Curling Championship in Auckland over Queen's Birthday Weekend.

They beat Team Garion Long 11-5 in Monday evening's final to claim the trophy in a convincing display.

Seven teams played in two pools through the qualifying stages.