Pic by Owen Hammond/APAC Sport Media
Australia and New Zealand have recorded emphatic wins on the opening night of the Four Nations Men’s Beach Volleyball Cup at Sydney’s Manly Beach.
Good crowds turned out to watch the inaugural competition, and local fans were rewarded with a strong showing from Australia’s Damien Schumann and Chris McHugh.
Schumann and McHugh beat Japan’s Yoshiumi Hasegawa and Masato Kurusaka 2-0, off the back of strong defensive work at the net by McHugh.
The second match of the night saw New Zealand’s Rene Kapa and Morgan Seymour overrun Austria’s Lucas Skrabal and Felix Friedl 2-0.
The first set was an arm wrestle, with the lead changing several times before Kapa and Seymour took a late lead 21-19.
The Austrian game fell apart in the second set, with Kapa's defensive work helping New Zealand taking the first six points of the set, and then building on their lead thought to take the second set and the match, 21-12.
Austria received a late call up to play in the Four Nations after the United States was a late withdrawal.
Four matches will be played on Tuesday, with New Zealand to take on Japan at midday, followed by Australia against Austria.
The evening session will kick off with Japan against Austria at 6pm, followed by Australia against New Zealand at 7pm.
The Four Nations Cup is part of the third annual Volleyfest, which kicked off with the women’s World Tour event on the weekend and will end with the Australian Tour finals next weekend.
The gold and bronze medal matches will be played on Wednesday night.