Kiwis at home in enemy Games territory

At a home Commonwealth Games, Australia would have been hoping to have all the inside knowledge about the venue and conditions on the Gold Coast.

But along came New Zealand's lawn bowlers to buck the system.

Kiwi bowler Katelyn Inch has moved to the Gold Coast and is playing out of the Broadbeach Bowls Club, the Games venue.

"I came here to gain experience of the greens. I live two blocks from the venue and it's cool I can share my knowledge with everyone else in the team," said Inch, who will play in the triples and fours.

"It does feel a bit like home. It's nice to come to a familiar place where we have been training. It's a bit more relaxing."

Fellow Kiwi bowler Jo Edwards also lives in Queensland, while teammate Shannon McIlroy makes regular trips across the ditch.

She says this enables the New Zealand team - known as the Blackjacks - to prepare for the slower greens that are expected once competition begins on Thursday.

"They are running a wee bit slower than we are used to, just because of the rain and conditions," Inch says.

"It doesn't bother me which speed the greens are running. I've played in all sort of conditions and we'll be ready to adjust for whatever comes and whatever speed we'll be playing."

However, the home side won't let their neighbours and rivals steal a march on them without a fight.

Australian Natasha Scott, competing at her third Games, says they are also familiar with the greens.

"We've got a few locals in the team and they've definitely been helping us out with what the pace of the greens are like so that definitely helps," she told the Seven Network.

"Being able to come up here on a regular basis has really helped the team a lot."

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