Canada and Scotland battle for gold in World Mixed Curling Championships
Grant Hardie paid tribute to the aggression of his Scottish rink after they guaranteed themselves at least a silver medal at the World Mixed Curling Championships.
The Scots will do battle with Canada for gold on Saturday afternoon in Switzerland, with a comprehensive victory over the Czech Republic in the semi-finals ensuring their tournament is far from over.
As they have throughout the competition, a fast start was in order for Hardie's charges as they went 4-0 ahead after just two ends.
Czech Republic got themselves on the board soon after, but a two-point fourth end saw the Scots increase their lead to five, eventually winning 6-2 with the eighth end not required.
"We feel good. I think they've played a lot better this week, so it was just about doing the simple things right, the team did it and played well, so I'm really happy," said Hardie.
"In a lot of the games we've come out aggressive. You get your practice so we're pretty happy going for it from the off and if you get in trouble you can bail out.
" It's seemed to work for us so far so we'll try and keep it the same again for the final."
Canada's progression to the final was not quite as straightforward, forced to dig deep in order to get the better of Norway 5-3.
Despite taking the lead, Canada found themselves 2-1 behind after two ends – with the game tense and edgy as both sides realised what was at stake.
But points in the fourth and sixth ends saw Canada take charge, eventually holding on for a tight victory to take their place in Saturday's gold-medal match.
"It's pretty amazing that we get to bring a medal home to Canada, regardless of its colour," said skip Trevor Bonot.
"We're just very happy. We had a couple of unlucky little rubs or ticks, we missed out on an opportunity for a deuce in the first end.
"Even though we had those misses we knew we had the opportunities so we just kept plugging away, playing our game and knew we'd have some chances.
"So as much as the game was tense we also knew that as long as we made our shots we'd have a chance to win."