New Zealand and the World Team Cup 1980
A new decade but only one change to the KIWI team. WAYNE BROWN was named as reserve for the defending World Champions. With TREVOR REDMOND still at the helm, the team assembled at Kings Lynn on Sunday, May 18. They faced England, Australia and the USA. First and second going to the Intercontinental Final, Denmark in June. Australia were handicapped by the loss of John Titman, unable to ride through injury. And Phil Crump, unavailable at the time. How would the defenders get on ?
Heat 1. Sigalos, Lee, Sanders, CRIBB.
1st England 42
2nd USA 31
3rd Australia 14
4th NEW ZEALAND 9
Well, not a happy day for the lads from The Shaky Isles. LARRY ROSS did what was expected of him. He buzzed at the 'Big Guns' when he should have been a 'Big Gun' himself. The reigning World Champion, IVAN MAUGER was now in his 40s and suffering from ill health. He had even had a spell in hospital. But this was IVAN in wind down. Not like today's Greg Hancock, who in his 40s was just revving up ! It was a shame to see THE MIGHTY MAUGER struggle.
But the big disappointment was MITCH SHIRRA. He should have had a point in heat 3, then he smashed into Phil Herne in heat 7. The Aussie went flying and sustained concussion, ending his day. SHIRRA was excluded and that was him hung out to dry.
The Lions however had sharpened their teeth and didn't they bite back ! The Yanks had an easy passage despite a bad day at the office for Bobby Schwartz. And Australia, without Phil Crump and John Titman, were never going to put up anything but a token resistance. Stone the flaming crows !
Both England and the USA safely qualified from the Intercontinental Final, eliminating the home team Denmark. Ole Olsen was not an 'appy chappy' ! And from there ?
1980 World Team Cup Final. Wroclaw. Poland.
Despite a maximum from Bruce Penhall, the Poms were the Kings of the World and they sang all the way to the throne, "Rule Brittania, Marmalade and Jam. Five Chinese crackers up ya exhaust, bang bang bang bang bang. Oi !"
This article was first published on 22nd January 2017
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