USA Billiards Team Claims World Cup Title
Van Boening and Morris Too Much for England
USA’s victorious World Cup of Pool pairing have revealed their pride at becoming the first Americans to win the prestigious team trophy.
Rodney Morris and Shane Van Boening defeated England’s Daryl Peach and Mark Gray 11-7 in a thrilling final at the Outland nightclub in Rotterdam, Holland.
“This is a major tournament, a world event, a world title, so to win this is just awesome,” said Morris.
“We didn’t perform at our best in the beginning of the tournament but that’s why we were seeded and we felt good and gelled nicely. Shane is a good partner because he never misses.
“I think we peaked at the right time and got a nice rhythm. Shane got me playing a little smarter and tighter and got me concentrating.
“It’s more special for me to see Shane win and I was trying hard not to let him down.
“I’m just happy we made it and it’s a relief. I didn’t want to let my team down and that keeps me tight.”
Shane Van Boening was representing USA for the first time in this tournament and he believed him and Morris had made a bit of history.
“Winning this means we are the first American team to win it and that really means something,” said van Boening.
“We didn’t know each other very well but we got along well and had a good time. We’re looking forward to coming back here next year as well and defending our title.
“I played good and we broke well and ran a couple of racks. We got the break figured out and played at our best.”
This was the third staging of the World Cup of Pool, which this year was sponsored by PartyPoker.net, and this victory wipes out the painful memory of 2006 where USA lost in the final.
Morris was part of the American side, along with Earl Strickland, that lost 13-5 against Philippines and 2006, and admitted he had been more determined to win as a result.
“It’s a big relief but it feels really good,” said Morris. “I didn’t want to get to the final again and lose.
“We felt we were big favourites in our own mind and the semi-final victory over the Philippines was like winning the final for us.
“Obviously it wasn’t but beating the Philippines gave us that extra confidence.
“The final was difficult because I gave away some games and I kept them close. We were poised to roll them out but after a couple of mistakes it ebbed and flowed.
Daryl Peach was disappointed that he could not add the World Cup of Pool title to go with the World Pool Championship that he claimed last November.
“I’m absolutely gutted but at the same time there has to be a winner and loser. We said we would win as a team and lose as team – there’s no in between.
“It’s been a pleasure to team up with Mark. We did England proud and I hope everyone else thought so. We hope to come back here stronger next year.
“The best players in the world are in this tournament and there’s hardly no weak links, maybe a couple of teams in the first round but no one from the last 16 onwards.
“We’ve had a tough match from the first round and we’re also the first team to beat (2007 Champions) China and we can go home with our heads held high.”
Mark Gray, the European No.1, was competing in the biggest match of his career after only taking up the game seriously four years ago.
He believes himself and Peach have earned the right to represent England in next year’s World Cup.
“I’m disappointed but in the match we didn’t get the rolls when we needed to and we didn’t break too well apart from once,” said Gray.
“We made a couple of errors early doors but in general looking at the big picture to come runners-up in the World Cup is a pretty big achievement.