The Official World Curling Federation
Sochi 2014 Olympic Games Website
07th - 23rd February 2014

Men: Tie-breaker Roundup

Great Britain skip David Murdoch secured two points with their last shot to take the win and qualify for the semi-finals Photo: WCF/Michael Burns

Great Britain qualified for the semi-finals of the 2014 Olympic Winter Games curling competition at the Ice Cube Curling Centre in Sochi with a 6-5 win over Norway in Tuesday morning's men's tie-breaker.

This result clinched fourth place for Great Britain and they now go on to face world champions Sweden, who ranked in first place, in Wednesday evening's semi-final, while second placed Canada play third-ranked China in the other semi-final.

Because they had beaten Great Britain in the round-robin, Norway had last stone advantage in the first end and they used it to score one point.

The teams then swapped single shots for the next three ends, as the score moved to 2-2 after four ends.

Norway had the first break-through of the game in the fifth end when their skip, Thomas Ulsrud, hit and stayed with his last stone to score two points and take a 4-2 lead into the half-time break.

Trying to get back on terms, Great Britain then blanked the next two ends and finally drew level again in the eighth end, scoring two points for a 4-4 score-line when Ulsrud's attempted double take-out just missed a British stone at the back of the house, leaving British skip David Murdoch a straightforward draw into the house for his points.

When he came to play his last stone in the ninth end, Norway's Thomas Ulsrud was facing three British stones already spread around the house and this situation forced him into a draw-shot to score just one point and re-take the lead at 5-4.

In the tenth end, the situation was the same in reverse, with British skip David Murdoch facing a collection of Norwegian stones in the house as he came to play his last shot.

However, in this case, the angles of the stones were lined up and Murdoch played a promote raise double take-out on the Norwegian stones and, managing to keep his own stone in the house as well as another British stone already there, he scored two points for the 6-5 win that sealed their semi-final place. Notably, this was the only time that Great Britain had been ahead in the game.

Afterwards, Great Britain skip David Murdoch said: "That was Incredible. Basically we had the goal to get to the semi-final and we're there. The guys played absolutely fantastic. The standard of that game was just incredible, you miss one shot and you practically lose the game."

Speaking about his decision to go for the difficult take-out rather than draw for one to tie the game and put it into an extra end, he explained: "We've played those guys a hundred times and your chances of stealing a point in an extra end are quite slim. It's very rare you get a steal against those guys. As hard as the shot was, we had to go for it. There was no margin for error."

Asked about when he knew his shot had been successful, he added: "I was saying nothing until it hit. There were too many angles to trust we were going to make everything. We had to rely on the throw, rely on the sweeping, and to call it right, and we got everything right, it was a fantastic team effort."

He continued: "That'll go up there as one of my best shots. It's not often you get that opportunity; you just have to go for it. It's part of the game, you just have to trust everything you've done previously, all your practice shots and how you've been playing all week. We had the courage to go for it."

Norway skip Thomas Ulsrud was gracious in defeat, agreeing that Murdoch had made the right call. He said: "As soon as we played our last rock, I said 'that's on'. I would definitely have played that shot. If you think about what's on the line it was a really good shot - if you miss it, you're out, and if you make it you're in the semi-finals of the Olympics. All credit to him, that's the kind of player he is. That's why he plays skip for Great Britain, he doesn't crack under pressure."

He was still left ruing missed opportunities however, saying: "It feels sore because that's one of the few chances we left him."

Men’s Tie-Breaker:
Norway 5, Great Britain 6.

Men’s standings after tie-breaker:

1. Sweden 8-1 (To play Great Britain in semi-final)
2. Canada 7-2 (To play China in semi-final)
3. China 7-2 (To play Canada in semi-final)
4. Great Britain 5-4 (To play Sweden in semi-final)
5. Norway 5-4
6. Denmark 4-5
7. Russia 3-6
8. Switzerland 3-6
9. USA 2-7
10. Germany 1-8

(All times local – MSK)

Semi-finals (Wednesday February 19, 2014):

1v4: Canada v Great Britain (14:00)
2v3: Sweden v Switzerland (14:00)

Medal Games (Thursday February 20, 2014)
Winner of 1v4 v winner of 2v3 (17:30)
Bronze: Loser of 1v4 v loser of 2v3 (12:30)

Semi-finals (Wednesday February 19, 2014):
Sweden v Great Britain (19:00)
2v3: Canada v China (19:00)

Medal Games (Friday February 21, 2014):
Winner of 1v4 v winner of 2v3 (17:30)
Bronze: Loser of 1v4 v loser of 2v3 (12:30)

Rankings are determined by rule C9 of the World Curling Federation's ‘The Rules of Curling and Rules of Competition’. Details can be obtained at

WCF Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games curling competition website:

Live scores, statistics and play by play:

See the WCF's latest photo galleries from the event:

Official Sochi 2014 website (including links to live broadcast games):

WCF Facebook:
WCF Twitter: @worldcurling and @WCFmedia. Hashtags: #curling #sochi2014

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