The Kookaburras have given new coach Ric Charlesworth plenty of optimism about the future of the teams push towards to the 2009 Champions Trophy and beyond, demolishing the Netherlands 7-3 in Perth.
2008 World Young Player of the Year Eddie Ockenden did nothing to hurt his growing reputation as a future star of the game, opening the Kookaburras score sheet only minutes into the game.
The Kookaburras quickly stamped their authority on the match, with defender Luke Doerner proving how deadly he can be at penalty corners, sending a low shot past the keeper at the 11 minute mark.
The fast paced action continued early in the match, however this time it was the Dutch displaying their skill, with Rogier Hofman sending an impressive shot on goal to the back of the net much to the dismay of debutant goalkeeper George Bazeley.
With three goals scored within the first 15 minutes, the match soon settled, with both teams controlling the play through the midfield at various times.
However the goal fest was far from over, with Ockenden again leaving the crowd amazed after swooping on the ball in the circle following a deflection off the goalkeeper's pads to extend the Kookaburras lead.
However the Dutch again responded, converting a crucial penalty corner to bring themselves back within range at half time.
The Kookaburras started the second half on the attack, finding their fourth goal from the unlikely scorer of defender Mark Knowles. Knowles, who has only scored five goals from his 123 international matches prior to tonight surprised everyone, including the Dutch goalkeeper, by taking the shot from a penalty corner at the 37 minute mark to extend the lead.
Determined to put some space between themselves and the Netherlands, the Kookaburras continued to attack, allowing young striker Russell Ford to score his first goal of the series via a field goal.
However the Dutch weren't done with yet, and when veteran Teun de Nooijer converted a penalty stroke at the 51 minute mark the visitors were well and truly still in the hunt.
Veteran Liam de Young ensured a Dutch comeback was out of the question, receiving a well executed pass from Jamie Dwyer at the top of the circle to beat the keeper and extend Australia's lead beyond reach for the Netherlands.
Young striker Eli Matheson put the result beyond doubt, scoring his first goal of the series at the 69 minute mark to reinforce the win.
Kookaburras coach Ric Charlesworth said although he is pleased with the win, he is aware that his team is a work in progress with a lot of development still left.
'We are improving in our organization and we have just been together for a few days and there is a lot or work to do. We want to play attractive hockey and maybe for 40 minutes today there was some good stuff but more is required and I expect that to improve. I hated conceding the three goals and we have to be coordinated and be astute but our skill execution is a real focus,' said Charlesworth.
Eddie Ockenden said that although she has scored four goals in the last two matches, he is still looking to develop his game.
'It's a little bit different playing in the midfield and I'm trying to make sure I'm in the right spots at the right time, so I'm trying to work on that,' said Ockenden.
Australia – Netherlands 7-3 (3-2)
Goals - Aus Ockenden 6m FG/ 28m PC, Aus Doerner 11m PC, Ned Hofman 13m FG, Ned Taekema 32m PC, Aus Knowles 37m PC, Aus Ford 40m FG, Ned De Nooijer PS, Aus De Young 56m FG, Aus Matheson 69m FG
Source: Hockey Australia
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