'Bridge Blacks' fall short of reaching finals

4:14 pm on 24 August 2017

The New Zealand men's bridge team has fallen short of reaching the finals in one of the two premium world tournaments.

The New Zealand men's bridge team, 'Bridge Blacks' shortly after learning they are through to the semi-finals.

The 'Bridge Blacks', shortly after learning they were through to the semi-finals. Photo: Bridge Blacks

The Bridge Blacks, as they are known, joined 22 teams to fight for the Bermuda Bowl, in the French city of Lyon.

The team reached the final four but fell last night to the highly rated French side, 187 points to 48.

France will now play USA in the finals.

New Zealand will compete for third place against Bulgaria.

This is the first time a New Zealand team got through the round robin to make the final eight in a Bermuda Bowl competition.

Last year, a New Zealand side reached the quarter finals in the game's second big contest, the Bridge Olympiad, which was held in the Polish city of Wrocslaw.

Despite the loss, New Zealand Bridge official Richard Solomon said the team did very well.

"New Zealand has played internationally in these events for many years," he said.

"But it has never reached the knock-out phase let alone getting to the semi finals, so it is really significant."

The New Zealand side consists of two teams of two players each, and a third team held in reserve.

Almost all team members are from Auckland's Akarana Bridge Club.

It includes a Sydney-based professional and a 21-year-old engineering student.

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