Kookaburras Claim Victory in Last Home Match Before Rio2016

Hockey | Published: Wed 25 May 2016
The final test in the series between Australia and Great Britain was held in front of a full capacity crowd of 5,000 at the Perth Hockey Stadium tonight, with Australia recording a 5 – 1 win in the last match the Kookaburras will play on home soil before Rio 2016.

Jamie Dwyer started the game off in fine form scoring the first field goal of the match within minutes in his final game for the Kookaburras in Australia. Great Britain were quick to react, getting the ball down into their scoring circle to give Simon Mantell the opportunity to even the score with a swift field goal.

Simon Orchard gave Australia the lead right on the quarter time buzzer with a penalty corner from a deflection after the ball was injected by WAIS scholarship athlete Aran Zalewski.

Blake Govers extended Australia’s lead early in the second quarter via a well constructed penalty corner routine.

Fourteen minutes into the third quarter and Captain Mark Knowles stretched Australia’s lead to 4 - 1 following a penalty stroke shot. Great Britain answered with their first penalty corner attempt of the game, but Australia’s defence held firm, denying the visitors a path back into the contest.

The fourth quarter saw Jamie Dwyer finish the game off with a penalty corner, nailing the victory for Australia with just a minute to go.

Post-match Dwyer commented: "It started off well with a goal in the first minute, I think it settled down my nerves a little bit. Overall we played a great game, especially defensively, and it was good to get a solid win against Great Britain.

"The amount of people that were here tonight was crazy, it was awesome and I was really happy to have my family here so we’ll celebrate tonight, but now I’m looking towards Rio.”

Head Coach Graham Reid said: "I was very happy with the second half of the game tonight. I thought we held the ball very well and played with a lot of sustained attacking pressure which we’re always trying to do, and that showed in the full time score.”

Zalewski was joined in action for Australia by fellow WAIS scholarship athletes; Kiel Brown, Tristan Clemons, Trent Mitton and Fergus Kavanagh.

The Kookaburras won the three match series 2-0. They will next play the Champions Trophy in London from 10 – 17 June.

-HockeyAus