The Kookaburras’ quest for a second Olympic gold medal is on observe after they clear swept the Black Sticks in Perth this weekend.
Forward Tom Wickham produced a man-of-the-match efficiency in Australia’s 2-0 win over New Zealand at present, exhibiting selectors they could have made a mistake by not together with him within the squad of 16 for the Tokyo Games subsequent month.
Just 24 hours after a 7-3 drubbing, the Kookaburras had been examined by a pushed Black Sticks however nonetheless held a clear sheet to complete second within the FIH Pro League.
Nathan Ephraums acquired the Australians on the board within the opening time period due to the help from Wickham who drove at three defenders earlier than selflessly passing off to set up the purpose.
Blake Govers tapped in one other purpose after an important crew construct up within the third time period to seal the win which is able to see Australia head into the Olympic Games because the top-ranked crew on the planet.
“It’s good to get a few wins under our belt,” Wickham stated.
“I think (the win) is important (leading into Tokyo. You never want to finish on a loss leading into a major tournament.
“A couple of goals, there are obviously things we can take away from that to learn and take forward. We’ll take the lessons out of it.”
A drag flick from Penny Squibb ensured the Hockeyroos would declare their victory New Zealand in a implausible remaining contest.
Squibb discovered the underside left nook within the third quarter from a well-executed penalty nook to guide the Australians to a 3-1 win.
After drawing 2-2 on Saturday, New Zealand got here out firing, scoring throughout the first 4 minutes due to Olivia Merry’s means to search out the underside left nook.
It was Merry’s eleventh purpose for the FIH Pro League and had New Zealand off to an important begin.
But Savannah Fitzpatrick responded initially of the second time period when she smashed a deflection between the legs of New Zealand goalkeeper to stage the scores.
Desperate to get an equaliser as the sport drew to an in depth, New Zealand pulled their goalkeeper, which proved to be a mistake because the Hockeyroos immediately counted, seeing Mariah Williams rating with the targets unguarded.
Forward Rosie Malone stated their new technique to assault paid off.
“Probably less defending for the strikers and more attacking,” she stated.
“It paid off today and we’re getting a lot of opportunities in there and we got a few in the back of the net today.”
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