The Blackjacks were red hot in very cold Christchurch conditions on Thursday at the World Bowls Championships with the side assured of at least three medals in the opening week.

All four of the Kiwi sides have progressed to the post-section part of the schedule with three teams going through as top qualifiers and having the free run into the semifinals.

"A fantastic effort," Blackjacks coach Dave Edwards tells "We have ticked the first lot of boxes we needed to tick and that is all four disciplines getting through to the nitty gritty stuff.

"The pleasing thing now is three of the four disciplines are guaranteed a medal so that is absolutely fantastic.


"It is really pleasing the guys and girls have prepared exceptionally well for this event and they have got the rewards in the first week. Let's hope we can turn some of those bronze medals into gold ones."

Kiwi singles player Jo Edwards advanced out of the pool stages but faces a win-or-go-home match against Nortfolk Island's Carmen Anderson in the quarterfinals tomorrow.

Edwards became just the second Blackjack to play 500 tests for her country when she faced Dutchwoman Saskia Schaft on Thursday morning but wasn't able to win the match. That placed her in a nervous showdown with experienced Australian and long-time rival Karen Murphy in the early afternoon match and it looked like it was going to go the Australian's way at 17-12 in the race to 21. But Edwards called on all of her experience and resolve to draw level at 17-17 before falling behind 20-17, drawing back level at 20-20 and eventually taking the key match 21-20 much to the delight of the home crowd.

A late afternoon win over Fiji's Sainiana Walker saw Edwards advance along with Murphy, who knocked out Schaft in the late afternoon match, while Canada's Kelly McKerihen went straight through to the semifinals.

Val Smith's women's fours eased into a semifinal against the winner of the Australia v Scotland match having dominated their section this week while Ali Forsyth's men's triple also cruised into the semifinals. They await the winner of Australia v Scotland.

It wasn't such an easy path through for the men's pair of Mike Kernaghan and Shannon McIlroy, who trailed the Malaysian side through the pool stage. But tied and relying on countback through their final section match saw the Kiwis advance thanks to an eight bowl win over Wales while the Malaysians had a narrow 21-20 win over Norfolk Island.

The New Zealand men's pair will face the winner of Ireland v England match.