The Kookaburras have made an
impressive start to their 2012 London Olympic Games campaign, dominating South
Africa and winning 6-0 at Riverbank Arena.
The result could have been even
more impressive had the Kookaburras made the most of their ample opportunities
in front of goals.
There was cause for further
celebration, with five-time World Player of the Year Jamie Dwyer scoring three
of the six goals to become the equal highest goal scorer in Australian
history.The Kookaburras dominated the first half of the match against South
Africa but failed to make the most of their opportunities, taking in a 2-0 half
time lead despite multiple shots on goal.
In a sign of their dominance,
the Kookaburras had five penalty corners to zero in the first half, but failed
to convert any of them.
Although South Africa put up a
good early resistance defensively, eventually the Kookaburras began to work
their way on top thanks to their superior skill.
However it didn’t go all their
way early, with goalkeeper Nathan Burgers going down after a collision with a
South African striker.
They then found themselves a
player down after Tim Deavin was sent off with a yellow card.
Dwyer then steadied the ship,
drawing a penalty stroke after his shot on goal struck the body of the South
African defender. He converted the stroke, and gave the Kookaburras a deserving
By mid-way through the half the
Kookaburras were well on top, but still not getting reward for their effort.
It appeared they had a break
through after Russell Ford scored from a penalty corner, however the video
referral showed that the ball had hit his foot before he got his shot away.
Finally the Kookaburras added
to their tally, with Dwyer again involved with a brilliant shot from the
baseline which was finished by MatthewButturini to make it 2-0 before
Things continued to improve for
the Kookaburras after half time, eventually making the most of their penalty
corners, with Chris Ciriello scoring his first ever Olympic goal to make it
Dwyer quickly added to the
scoreboard and made it 4-0 only minutes later, and all of a sudden the
Kookaburras were firing.
After being awarded a second
penalty stroke towards the end of the match Dwyer made it 5-0, with a final
goal from Glenn Turner following a brilliant run from Simon Orchard making it
6-0 at full time.
AIS-WAIS athlete Fergus Kavanagh had little trouble in defence, with the Kookaburras not conceding a single penalty corner in their comfortable pool round win.
Jamie Dwyer said although it
was nice to get an early win, the team still had much to improve on.
"I think if you asked us
at the start of the day if we would take a 6-0 win over South Africa we would
take it straight away because they are a very tough side,” Dwyer said.
"However we weren't solid
enough in the circle which is something we are going to have to get better at
if we want to progress to the semi finals.
But overall we are happy with
"South Africa were always going
to be hard to beat, but we still have some improvement.”
Coach Ric Charlesworth echoed
"We are a work in
progress,” the master coach said.
"I think our corners weren't as
good as they could have been and we didn't finish off well when we were in
"But at the first game of the
Olympics players are nervous and we only have five players who have played at
the Olympics before which brings tension which is hard to define, but it is