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Well, we’ve got a draw at least having seen both teams score all two goals during each of the two separate halves to wrap up Game 2 in the women’s tri-series between the Hockeyroos v China at Curtin University (Perth Hockey Stadium) in Perth. The first 15 minutes was quiet for a start before China got away with back-to-back goals that gave them the upper hand going into the half-time break. Then the Hockeyroos were relieved to struck one back off the penalty corner by Greta Hayes in the 3rd quarter & although they might have ran out of time unlike yesterday v Japan when Mariah Williams scored the only late winner despite being a great threat in the attacking third, but a quick counter attacking finish by Steph Kershaw thanks to an excellent Hayes intercept was enough to hold China back & deny them the win with seven minutes left on the clock (4th Qtr).

We know how good China was when they make good use of the opposition’s missed opportunities and making the most of their own wisely that rang alarm bells to the Hockeyroos backline with back-to-back 2nd quarter goals in quick succession. If there’s one thing they will need to watch out for is their own defense. They were relieved to get away from the endless Hockeyroos shots on target where most of them were hit and misses but they really need to be careful at times and not losing the ball away which ruined their good start in the end. I would say though when they face Japan next up on Tuesday, they would wanna make the most of their attack against the opposition scrambled defense & that would be the key towards taking away that boost of confidence & possibly coming back better to haunt the Hockeyroos once more come Wednesday.

Meanwhile, it’s good to see the Hockeyroos posing a huge threat in their attack with lots of chances provided to get the job done. Now they could’ve done something better earlier on where there were a lack of numbers for someone to back one up & strike the ball through the net where the Hockeyroos would be pocketing 2-0 their way, not to the other team from China. But they have made some amends at last with Rosie Malone working so hard to take the ball off China later on that provided some much needed relief for the Hockeyroos to get back on track in the middle or within the circle with successful strikes coming from Hayes and Kershaw 1 v 1 past the keeper, even though a late win might have seen the ship being sailed away from both teams by full-time. They got a game next up against Australia A on Tuesday as part of the Olympic preparations that would help sort out their best squad ahead of the Summer Olympics in Paris during July-August before coming back for another meeting v China come Wednesday as they need to make the most out of their attacking executions & not let these chances being hit & misses again while making the defense ready and alert so they don’t fall behind later during the match.

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Also earlier tonight over in Perth in between 19 minutes and 9km each from tonight’s Western Force v Crusaders clash at HBF Park is Game 1 of the Perth International Festival of Hockey women’s tri-series between the Hockeyroos v Japan at Perth Hockey Stadium within Curtin University. It was a tough contest to say with Hockeyroos making the most chances in attack and shot on goal while Japan have been solid as a rock at the back defensively where we didn’t have a score at all for nearly the whole time through the four quarters of play. There’s no penalty shootout nor a VAR referral if the game went quiet without a goal or equaliser just for series since the games were arranged as an extra Olympics preparation a few weeks ago.

But in the end, the Hockeyroos were relieved to escape Japan unscathed with the 1-0 win and there’s one person who made such a difference to put inside the net is forward Mariah Williams. She too have intercepted the Japanese’s play at the back under pressure while trying to settle the score as it is before Mariah smacked the ball just within the cricle from the wide left like a rocket and there goes the one and only goal with only 55 seconds left to go – how good!! Gotta say she’s a game changer like she did at the World Cup two years ago in Spain v the exact same opponent during the opening game which was quite a coincidence & sure she will do the same again that would be handy in the next upcoming games including China tomorrow. Hats off to Steph Kershaw who also made a difference linking up with the forwards to provide the best attacking opportunities including penalty corners as well even though it wasn’t easy to get the job done v the scrambled Japan backline.

And speaking of Japan, they were oh so good defensively – who were well aware and alert of the Hockeyroos’ dangerous forwards – having seen the keeper saving a few while being able to stop them in its tracks that left them frustrated without a goal for the majority. Although they were unlucky to lose the ball at their own end which led to Mariah’s late winning strike, but they would’ve liked to match the opposition attackers though when it comes to trying to get themselves towards getting shots on goal more often and that is something Japan needs to work on in their next game v China for Game 3 on Tuesday.

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What a way to finish up the five-match series with a 5-0 whitewash by the Men’s Kookaburras team over India at the Perth Hockey Stadium. Game 4 and 5 saw India take the early advantage thanks to their excellent defense that restricted the Kookaburras attacking and conversion play, which helped them stay in the game whether if it’s 1-0 up or 1-1 at half-time.

But then what really let them down is their lack of attacking fire by relaxing the back four a bit to try and close it out their way when the Kookaburras’s last two quarters form was simply amazing to turn things around at the same time and yet we have seen goal after goal in quick succession & that is how the Kookaburras wanted to bring it home in front of their home fans for one last time in the meantime ahead of their 4 months stay in Europe. The final scores are 3-1 in Game 4 and 3-2 in Game 5.

So surely the Kookaburras need to go all out from the start and make the most of their complete attack as if they’re playing the Netherlands, Argentina or Germany all the time that would mean another breakthrough Olympics Gold since 2004 in Athens, Greece as they are now ranked in 3rd, while India as said need to push themselves up the pitch on top of their rock-solid defense but good to see them pick up more pluses though as they progress where wins will go their way soon enough.

Other than that, thank you to India for accepting the invitation to play a bit of Hockey here against our Kookaburras whose next games will be in Europe late next month to roll out the remaining FIH Pro League Season. But wait there’s more as the big International festival of Hockey in Perth isn’t done just yet with the women’s Hockeyroos team back on the field in a week-long Tri-Series tournament against China and Japan starting on Saturday – same time, same place with the first match up being Japan including a bit of Australia A along the way to help the best select their Olympics squad for Paris later this year.

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Gotta say fair play to India on their valiant defensive performance that restricted most of the Kookaburras’ shots on target while being able to get away with the 1-0 lead for a bit off their 2nd penalty corner shot by Jugraj Singh before they were equalised 1-1 after quiet 2/3rds play – including a mighty effort from the goalkeeper who saved quite a lot and never backed down by P.R Sreejesh. But the win still belongs to the Kookaburras at home as they have clinched the five-match series 3-0 with two games to spare courtesy of a Jeremy Hayward double strike performance. The two goals he got away are one was a straight one-on-one penalty stroke after Amit Rhoidas couldn’t clear Joey Rintala out of the way at India’s own end & another was a penalty corner after his side regained some attacking momentum in the final third not long after India’s goal.

Now that the Kookaburras have secured the Men’s Perth Cup, they would need to be a bit better at their executions where a lot of shots on target were hit and misses or else the missed opportunities could go the opposition’s way like it was yesterday and also during the first-half of Game 2. This would be the big difference if they wish to dominate the rest of the FIH Pro League season as well as winning gold at the Paris Olympics in France later this year. And as for India, their defense is really strong and rock solid that frustrated most of the Kookburras failed conversions including penalty corners. They just need to make the most of their attack a bit more and we could see a really good contest all along with India still right in contention.

Game 4 coming up later tomorrow at the Perth Hockey Stadium before the series wraps up for Game 5 on Saturday. Will the Kookaburras sort out their attacking conversions like it was in Game 1 with a excellent start to the series 5-1 to try safeguard their lead for the win or can India get the job done more than just penalty corners on top of their rock solid defense? 

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Game 2 yesterday saw some much needed improvements from India, who quickly derailed the Kookaburra’s good 1-0 early start with a successful penalty corner of their own before another goal puts them right in front of the Aussies ahead at half-time, 1-2. But then India couldn’t defend their one-point lead, especially in the 3rd quarter where the Kookaburas scored all three goals in one go before a quiet last 15 mins sealed the home team another win in Perth, 4-2.

Great to see Jeremy Hayward piling up back-to-back goals as he’s so destructive when striking off from penalty corners, while the Kookaburras put in a massive team effort to rip off the Indian defense off the back of the remaining two goals from Jacob Anderson & Nathan Ephraums & also credit to Flynn Ogilvie who read the opposition gaps by intercepting the ball really well.

As said from India, they know how to stop the Kookaburras which gave them a slight advantage in the first half. But a lack of attacking fire later on have compromised their good defensive structure where India walked away with another loss in the end. Questions will need to be asked if they wish to turn around come Game 3 on Wednesday. It’s a must win game for them as all the Kookaburras gotta do is win again to make it 3-0 and the Perth series trophy is theirs with two games to spare.

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Great to have Field Hockey back here to kickstart the month of April with the Men’s Kookaburras team being too good v India 5-1 yesterday in Perth. They controlled the game really well having scored two goals in the first half thanks to their loads of possession, such as the quick turnover from defense to attack through the channels where Tim Brand scored the opening goal 1 v 1 through the left short side before he finished his strike past the keeper in the middle while Tom Wickham struck through the net from out of nowhere with help from Aran Zalewski – shoutout to him with his 250th cap. Later on, the Kookaburras continued to extend their lead after back-to-back goals in the third quarter where Ky Willott had one sensational cross strike off the wide left followed by another Wickham goal thanks to a poor Indian defence being intercepted by Flynn Ogilvie.

Towards the last 15 minutes play of the match, India was able to make up just the one consolation goal by turning it into a quick counter-attacking strike after saving a penalty corner that gave some space to process from Gurjant Singh. However, Ogilvie scored the 5th and final Kookaburras goal off a successful penalty corner who picked up a Jeremy Hayward deflection from Indian goalkeeper Krishan Pathak before he successfully struck through the net with less than 4 mins to go. It’s a great start by the unreal Kookaburras team so far with the desire to score even more left, right & centre as they lead the five-match series 1-0 & we will be back later today for the 2nd game to round off the weekend at 6.30 pm AEST/4.30pm local time.

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The Kookaburras hopes of having a 100% winning run to finish off the Indian FIH Pro League tour has been denied in their 8th & final game by the No.1 Netherlands side 5-3. They actually got away with the first goal which was so far, so good to get past the first step. But then the Netherlands got away with two goals thanks to a double Duco Telgenkamp brace going into half-time before they could not keep on scoring where they collected three more in the 2nd half as two late goals isn’t enough to close that gap towards full-time. It’s never an easy game every time when you go up against a top-ranked side who will not give you a free run. Yes, the Kookaburras did score 1-2 late goals where they did their best to make that count & bring into penalties as the clock ticks down. But again, not stopping the patient & destructive Dutch attack cost them time & time again unfortunately as the game goes on that includes the ill-discipline. If they went full on attack rather than defending a good start like they did late in the game, then it would’ve been a different story. So now they are six points behind the No.1 ranked side on the ladder where every game is a big game now if the Kookaburras wish to beat every other team they play in their next tournament leg while seeing other teams stop the Dutch along the way & hope they take home the season trophy not long ahead of the Olympics in Paris around late July-early August. We did have an near perfect and unreal campaign though with seven wins in a row up until this point as both of our national hockey teams will be resting up and training for a while back home before going back again in late May-early June across Europe such as Antwerp in Belgium & London, UK.

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The Kookaburras men’s team are now just one win away from rounding off their perfect Indian tour in the 2023-24 FIH Pro League season thanks to another win v the hosts this time via penalties 3-0 after a 2-2 draw in normal time. It was a close one with plenty of eyes surrounding controversy amongst the officials refereeing this game. India controlled the first-half well with back-to-back penalty corner strikes while the Kookaburras also got the penalty strike too but that was only through 1 v 1 inside the circle where Blake Govers struck successfully past the keeper. Fortunately, the Kookaburras stopped India from walking away with the win with only seven minutes to go in the fourth quarter at 2-2 when Ogilvie Flynn intercepted the free hit before he found his own man Tim Brand to finish it off through the net and that was fair too since 1-2 Indian players made an obstruction along the way. So it all comes down to the penalty shootouts to decide the game as always & the Kookaburras has escaped India unscathed once again thanks to three brilliant strikes including Johan Durst’s brilliant saves and tricks as the goalkeeper. And on India, commiserations to them as said with the early start being orchestrated by Manpreet Singh but then their defensive mode later on unfortunately didn’t pay off before they were consigned to defeated in the end there.

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It might have taken a long while to get things going after a scoreless first half or first quarter but it’s still another unbeaten Kookaburras win though v Ireland again 4-1 ahead of this weekend’s last two matches of their Indian tour v the host country tomorrow followed by the Netherlands on Sunday. This game is all about the best of Irish defense v the Aussie attack where the opposition goalie (Milliken James) made a few brilliant saves here & there that gave his Ireland side the chance to put pressure onto our Kookaburras in return. However, ill-discipline & a lack of attacking fire saw the Kookburras fire back a few goals mostly off penalty corners courtesy of Jack Welch, who was a decent threat up front thanks to the dominant possession that includes the team’s fourth goal himself. So Australia’s unstoppable 2nd half performance has ended the long patience of the Irish defense at the end of the day. And shoutout to Corey Weyer at the back who is not only great in defense but can link up for his own attacking players well and can be a handy at the other end when it comes to penalty corners. Two more games to go in the hope of wrapping up their Indian leg entirely undefeated on the way back here early next week.

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Another day, another win for the Kookaburras as they continue their unbeaten run against Spain again 4-1 to start their 2nd week Indian tour in the 2023-24 FIH Pro League Season. Spain actually fired off with the quick goal just a few minutes after the game was underway but the Kookaburras dominated the 1st half with three goals on hand (back-to-back from open play in the 1st quarter not long after Spain’s one and only goal followed by a successful penalty corner in the 2nd quarter). Now things may have slowed down later on but still it’s the Kookaburras day on the pitch thanks to an extra goal in the third quarter before they tighten things up at the back to make Spain harder to beat past the net while dominating the ball along the way on what has been a excellent win. Their next game will be against Ireland tonight followed by back-to-back games this weekend to round off their Indian trip against the host team India and the high-flying Netherlands again respectively.

A mighty team effort all around for the sake of the Kookaburras with the dominant possession of the ball as well as being able to interrupt the Spanish since their defense and attacking play was so vulnerable, which gave them a great chance to put one down through the net and they did so very well a few times. Gotta credit the brilliant passage of play while making the good use of the counter-attack so it can flow well through the channels. Plus, don’t forget they defended tight for the majority with credit from the keeper as well to deny Spain the confidence they really need against their own corner. Speaking of the Spanish, they almost got it against India when they were equalised in the 3rd quarter before they losing out via penalty shooutouts as well as the quick opening lead yesterday here. But unfortunately, they still struggled to kick on where attacking chances were flying everywhere as well as some defensive and disciplinary mistakes and also mis-timed passes when trying to go towards the attacking end that saw them languishing so far behind the Kookaburras on the scoreboard. Spain has a tough next game ahead v Netherlands tomorrow when they currently sit 7th on the ladder & have only won once last week v Ireland.

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