Australia won the 2011 Oceania Cup after a 6-1 victory over New Zealand in the final match in Hobart. The Kookaburras were threatened with losing their number one ranking if they did not win by four goals.
Australia started at a frantic pace with Jamie Dwyer busy early earning his team a penalty corner in the first minute.
Local favourite Eddie Ockenden made no mistake of the variation, scoring a fine reverse stick deflection to give the Australians the perfect start.
The Kookaburras were playing with passion and fight and Mark Knowles was notably full of aggression as he glided through the middle of the park on several occasions.
Midfielder Matthew Butturini was too in full flight and it was through his great solo run which earned Australia a penalty stroke after a scramble in front of goals.
Simon Orchard made no mistake at the spot to give the Australians a two goal advantage in the 10th minute.
The Kookaburras continued to run the Blacksticks into the ground and their efforts going forward were continually rewarded.
Butturini again broke through the New Zealand defence and earned a penalty corner which Kieran Govers unleashed a rocket like drag flick in the 16th minute to increase the buffer.
Australia was dominating all over the park and were aggressive at every contest with Matthew Swann and Fergus Kavanagh composed at the back and feeding their midfielders and forwards continuously.
New Zealand came out with more aggression in the second half and were moving forward with more confidence than what they showed in the first half.
Australia were able to stay composed and stick to their game plan however and dealt the Blacksticks a blow when Glenn Turner was able to put away a clinical goal in the 42nd minute.
This fourth goal gave the Australians further confidence as they attacked the circle with pace and aggression consistently.
Jamie Dwyer was finding touch all over the park and he exquisitely supplied the ball to Glenn Turner, who was able to stay composed and drag the keeper and give the Kookaburras a five goal lead in the 55th minute.
Still dominating all over the field, the Kookaburras soon found the scoreboard again after a great solo, overlapping run by Matthew Swan resulted in Glenn Turner getting a hat-trick in the 60th minute.
New Zealand were able to score a late consolation goal through a controversial penalty stroke in the 66th minute through captain Phil Burrows but it was too little too late as the dominant Kookaburras took out the match and the Oceania Cup title.
Kookaburras coach Ric Charlesworth said today’s result was better than the previous matches and was pleased with his sides’ ability to capitalise especially against an opponent who played hard, tough hockey.
However he noted there is a lot of work to be done in the preparation for the London Olympics next year.
“I think we have had a significant dip in form over the last few months and hopefully the players have been reminded about how much work there is to be done”, Charlesworth said.
“That said, we have also shown what we can do when we play at our best ”.
Oceania Cup 2011, Hobart (AUS) - Fixtures and Results
Times are local
Thursday 6th October 2011
Men: New Zealand v Australia 3-0
Women: Australia v New Zealand 2-1
Friday 7th October 2011
Saturday 8th October 2011
Women: New Zealand v Australia 3-3
Men: Australia v New Zealand - 3-3
Sunday 9th October 2011
Women - Australia v New Zealand - 2-4
Men - New Zealand v Australia - 1-6
Source: Hockey Australia Media Release
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