SQUEAKY CLEAN KOOKABURRAS TOWEL UP TRANS-TASMAN RIVALS

The Kookaburras have made it five wins in a row for the FIH Pro League, crushing Trans-Tasman rivals New Zealand 5-1 in poor conditions on Sunday afternoon at Sydney Olympic Park Hockey Centre.

 

Australia had four individual goal scorers in Tom Wickham (12’, 32’), Jeremy Hayward (14’), Jack Welch (27’) and Daniel Beale (38’), while New Zealand managed just a single goal through Hayden Phillips (15’).

 

The heavy rain didn’t seem to effect the Kookaburras who were clean with the ball and accurate with their passing in the field.

 

The dominant Kookaburras peppered the goals all day, creating 19 shots from 29 circle entries and converted on 20 per cent of their penalty corner opportunities.

 

Matthew Swann was awarded Player of the Match for his impressive play in the back half.

 

The win pushes Australia to top of the FIH Pro League standings while New Zealand remain in last place.

 

In a mark of respect to those affected by the terrible events in Christchurch on Friday, both sides came together and linked arms during a moments silence before the match.

 

The Kookaburras next match is an ANZAC Day clash against New Zealand in Auckland.

 

Wickham opened the scoring for Australia getting on the end of a fantastic circle entry from Jake Whetton who wrong-footed multiple New Zealand defenders for the assist in the 11th minute of the match.

 

Moments later Hayward hit the scoreboard, rocketing a dragflick past New Zealand keeper Richard Joyce and bringing his tally of goals for the weekend to three.

FIH Field Hockey Pro League Mens - Australia v New Zealand
SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA – MARCH 17: Daniel Beale of Australia celebrates scoring a goal during the FIH Field Hockey Pro League Mens match between Australia and New Zealand at the Sydney Olympic Park Hockey Centre on March 17, 2019 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images)

Phillips reduced the Black Sticks’ deficit as the first term came to a close, smashing a tomahawk into the backboard off of a penalty corner deflection.

 

Australia’s next goal came late in the second quarter when Whetton once again passed to a teammate after finessing a circle entry, he found Welch open in front of goals who was able to power the shot through for the Kookaburras’ third goal.

 

The third term started as just as the second had ended, Australia was pushing the attack and it only took 90 seconds for them to hit the scoreboard again.

 

Wickham nailed his second goal for the day, delivering an off-balance shot through New Zealand keeper George Enersen’s legs.

 

In the 38th minute of the match, Daniel Beale stole possession off a New Zealand error and pushed his way into the attacking circle before delivering a powerful stroke past Enersen for Australia’s fifth goal.

 

Tyler Lovell was impressive in the final term, blocking a number of the Black Sticks’ penalty corner chances.

 

Australia 5 (Wickham 12′, 32′, Hayward 14′, Welch 27′, Beale 38′)

Argentina 1 (Phillips 15’)

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