Kookaburras defeat NZ In festival opener
6 November 2017
HOCKEY: The Kookaburras have continued their recent strong form against New Zealand with a 4-0 win over the Kiwis in the opening game of the International Festival of Hockey in Bendigo on Sunday.
Jeremy Hayward scored a penalty corner double, on a day when Australia had three debutants in Corey Weyer, Jake Harvie and Tim Howard.
Josh Pollard opened the scoring in the first quarter, while Kiran Arunasalam added the third as Australia scored a goal in each of the four quarters.
New Zealand fought hard but goalkeeper Tristan Clemons was outstanding in keeping them at bay, in front of a healthy crowd in Bendigo.
Clemons said: “It’s been great. We came out here last year and we were really happy with the support we got.
“We love the support we get in the regional centres so hopefully they come out tomorrow and support us again.”
The result is a boost for the Kookaburras, who meet the Black Sticks again on Monday in Bendigo, before meeting Japan, Pakistan and NZ again in Melbourne later in the week.
Victorian Pollard opened the scoring after eight minutes with a cool finish after a clever pass from Tom Wickham.
Australia had two close calls late in the first quarter with efforts from Jake Whetton and Arunasalam both saved by New Zealand goalkeeper Richard Joyce.
Black Sticks skipper Arun Panchia forced a low save from the outstanding Clemons early in the second quarter, before Australia converted their first penalty corner of the game with Hayward scoring in trademark fashion.
Clemons was called into action several times in the third quarter, making great saves to deny Dane Lett and Marcus Child from penalty corners.
Arunasalam added Australia’s third right on the final change, with a tidy reverse stick finish after breaking into the shooting circle.
Hayward added number four barely a minute into the final term from a penalty corner, although he was denied his hat-trick in circumstances shortly after.
Clemons ensured Australia kept a clean sheet with good late saves from Arun Panchia and Nick Ross.