The Kookaburras had a solid 3-nil win over Japan, in their second match of a three game series, at the National Hockey Centre in Canberra today.
The team created plenty of opportunities up front but the score did not reflect how dominant the Kookaburras were and Coach Ric Charlesworth said the team needed to work on the basics but he was reasonably happy with their effort.
"We should of converted more opportunities, we made more errors than I would have liked but it was solid and a solid performance at the back," he said. "Nobody stood out, the errors took the gloss off the performance."
Charlesworth wanted the players to be more patient with the ball, when the Japanese flooded their defence, making it hard for the Kookaburras to create space.
"It's the fifth game at the end of the week but there is no excuses, everybody is playing for a spot in the Olympic team and every game counts," he said. "When it gets crowded we need to be slicker and quicker."
The Kookaburras looked a little rusty in the opening minutes but soon started to get on top. Matthew Butturini opened the scoring at the 20 minute mark, before Russell Ford sent one home just before half-time, to take the Kookaburras to a 2-0 lead at the break.
The second half was fairly congested and despite more opportunities, the team could only add one more conversion after the siren, when Glenn Simpson made no mistake with a superb drag flick.
Kookaburra Mark Knowles said the team defended well but he was disappointed with the lack of forced penalty corners, just three for the match. ``If you defend well you've got a good chance of winning and we did that today but we'll be working on penalty corners for tomorrow,'' he said.
Up to eight different players will line-up in the final game of the series at 2pm tomorrow.