Australia has battled oppressive heat and a tough South African team to come away with a 4-0 win in its first game of the Good Luck Beijing tournament.
Taking place at the Olympic venue, exactly one year out, the Hockeyroos tasted just how tough next year will be and the conditions they'll be facing in their search for gold, particularly backing up game after game as they'll have to do tomorrow.
"It was very hot out there," said national coach Frank Murray.
"The conditions were just so oppressive. Hot, humid and at 10:30 in the morning, no breeze at all. We did very well today but it's taken its toll on the team and is going to be tough to back it up again tomorrow in similar conditions."
The Hockeyroos dominated all over the field against South Africa, controlling possession and moving the ball well into attack, drawing multiple penalty corners.
Rebecca Sanders opened the scoring for the Hockeyroos in the 16th minute, her flick beating the South African keeper. While the remaining goals to Megan Rivers, Kate Hollywood and Nikki Hudson all came from penalty corner rebounds.
It was a very good opening match for the Hockeyroos, but the real test comes tomorrow when they face Argentina and then again on Saturday when they face China.
"Tomorrow's going to be very tough. Backing it up with less than 24 hours is going to be very difficult, but these are the conditions we'll be facing next year. Argentina are a very good side so it will be a big challenge and then China on Saturday is going to be very tough. They're a very good hockey team and will be one of the real favourites next year."
The task has been made much harder after co-captain Mel Twitt tore a hamstring and will miss the remainder of the tour.
Source: Hockey Australia
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