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Kookaburras fight back to win Oceania Cup

[img_assist|nid=3059|title=|desc=Simon Orchard of the Kookaburras (left) competes with Hugo Inglis of New Zealand as Australia retain the Oceania Cup in Hobart. Photo by Mark Dadswell/Getty Images|link=node|align=right|width=300|height=212]Australia have won the 2011 Oceania Cup after a dominant 6-1 win over New Zealand in the final and deciding match at the Tasmanian Hockey Centre in Hobart.

Threatened with losing their number one ranking if they did not win by four goals, the Kookaburras played out the match with real intensity and purpose.

The Kookaburras started at a frantic pace with Jamie Dwyer busy early earning the Australians a penalty corner in the first minute.

Local favourite Eddie Ockenden made no mistake of the variation, scoring a fine reverse stick deflection to give the Australians the perfect start.

Simon Orchard made no mistake at the spot to give the Australians a two goal advantage in the 10th minute.

Butturini again broke through the New Zealand defence and earned a penalty corner which Kieran Govers unleashed a rocket like drag flick in the 16th minute to increase the buffer.

New Zealand came out with more aggression in the second half and were moving forward with more confidence than what they showed in the first half.

Australia were able to stay composed and stick to their game plan however and dealt the Blacksticks a blow when Glenn Turner was able to put away a clinical goal in the 42nd minute.

This fourth goal gave the Australians further confidence as they attacked the circle with pace and aggression consistently.

Jamie Dwyer was finding touch all over the park and he exquisitely supplied the ball to Glenn Turner, who was able to stay composed and drag the keeper and give the Kookaburras a five goal lead in the 55th minute.

The Kookaburras soon found the scoreboard again after a great solo, overlapping run by Matthew Swan resulted in Glenn Turner getting a hat-trick in the 60th minute.

New Zealand were able to score a late consolation goal through a controversial penalty stroke in the 66th minute through captain Phil Burrows but it was too little too late as the dominant Kookaburras took out the match and the Oceania Cup title.

Kookaburras coach Ric Charlesworth said today’s result was better than the previous matches and was pleased with his sides’ ability to capitalise especially against an opponent who played hard, tough hockey.

However he noted there is a lot of work to be done in the preparation for the London Olympics next year.

“I think we have had a significant dip in form over the last few months and hopefully the players have been reminded about how much work there is to be done”, Charlesworth said.

 “That said, we have also shown what we can do when we play at our best.”

The Blackstics had won the first game of the best-of-three series 3-0 on Thursday October 6, 2011. The second match, on Saturday, was a 3-3 draw leaving Australia needing a comprehensive win to take the cup on goal difference.

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