Monday, August 15, 2022

Commonwealth Games Hockey: Australia continue to show title credentials

A champions start and an emphatic scoreline. The Kookaburras continued on their merry way with a comprehensive trouncing of rivals New Zealand on Monday night. 

After casting aside Scotland men, Australia’s press and attack was put to full use against the Black Sticks in a 7-2 win.

It was important to score early to put us in a good position for the game,” said Blake Govers. “We were a bit sloppy at times. However, we got enough goals on the board not to trouble us too much.

“We need to tighten up a few things if we want to do really well in this tournament.”

In all, Australia had 34 circle entries, hit four from six corner chances and carved out 21 scoring opportunities to New Zealand’s nine.

The Kookaburras made a fast start to their second match of the tournament, with the game just eight minutes old when a Jacob Anderson pass took a couple of deflections before making its way in. 

The Black Sticks men hit back just two minutes into the second period, Hugo Inglis with the strike to level the tie. Not to be deterred, five minutes later Australia were back in front via Govers firing a dragflick in following a penalty corner.

Govers was at it again, extending the Kookaburras’ lead to 3-1 before Jake Whetton got in on the act.

As the second half got underway it was time for Nathan Ephraums to get in on the action, scoring high into the net. 

To their credit New Zealand continued to search for a way back into the game and got their reward when Jake Smith pulled one back for the Black Sticks. However, any thoughts of a comeback were dealt a cruel blow when Aran Zalewski scooped in to leave the score reading 6-2 as the teams took their final break.

Zalewski picked up where he left off in the third quarter, turning the ball into the goal after a powerful Whetton effort.

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