Australia's World Championships campaign remains on track in Adelaide after four rounds of competition, with the Jackaroos contingent well situated in all four of the preliminary disciplines despite suffering its first two defeats today.
Having whitewashed all eight encounters on the opening day, including six victories against pre-tournament favourites Scotland and New Zealand, the host nation was well placed to continue its barnstorming at Lockleys and Holdfast Bay, but had its colours lowered early by old-enemy England.
The host contingent was unable to withstand the relentless assault dished up by the Three Lions in the dying stages of the women's triples, with six shots over the last three ends resulting in a 11-16 loss and cementing England's position on top of the progressive leader board.
Overcoming the disappointment, the Jackaroos line-up launched their response in the afternoon, accounting for the Netherlands 16-9 to remain within striking distance of the top contenders.
South Australian Wayne Ruediger, Brett Wilkie, Mark Casey and Aron Sherriff had a forgettable day on the greens, drawing the morning match 19-all against Fiji after holding a comfortable lead, and then failing to overcome Jersey, 16-20, after dropping 6 shots in one end late in the match.
At the completion of the fourth session, world number two Leif Selby had cemented his spot on top of the men’s singles table with four consecutive wins, including a clinical victory against Commonwealth Games gold medallist and short-priced favourite Paul Foster, from Scotland, in the second rubber.
Selby accounted for Zimbabwe’s Richard Hayden 21-11 and then made light work of Israel’s Zvi Hadar 21-10 on day two of the blue-ribbon singles event.
Kelsey Cottrell and Rebecca Quail have sailed through their first four rounds undefeated in the women’s pairs discipline with courageous wins against defending champions New Zealand 17-11, and Scotland 17-16 on day one and comprehensive victories on day two against Hong Kong China 32-6 and Netherlands 25-11.
"Things are still going to plan," national coach Steve Glasson said.
"It's probably disappointing to miss out on the two boys' fours games today.
"They were good games so full credit to Fiji and Jersey, they took it right up to our guys.
"A result here or there could have been the difference, but we have to take away from today that we are going to get challenged and we have to be up for the battle.
"Hopefully this is a nice little wake-up call, especially in the fours, to make sure that we up the ante a bit and win those close games.
"It's a long road, there will be a lot more upsets yet, but hopefully they won't involve Australia."
Preliminary rounds of the men's singles and fours, and the women's pairs and triples will continue tomorrow at Lockleys and Holdfast Bay, with the disciplines reserving on Wednesday, November 28.
Click here for full results from the 2012 World Championships.
Caption: Despite dropping their fifth rubber to Jersey, Australia's campaign remains steadfast.