Whakatāne's George Coulter says the banter, and being beaten, keeps him in his place on the croquet green.

It would be fair to say the 22-year-old is normally the youngest in his matches, but he is part of a growing number of young people playing the sport.

"Croquet is a lot different than your conventional sport, you are thinking a lot about tactics as well as accurate hitting. It is more of a thinking game than physical. There are very low barriers to entry as well so anyone can come and pick up a mallet, play for a morning and

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