Aussies Switch Their Attention To Great Britain Clash

Aussies Switch Their Attention To Great Britain Clash

 Author: Ben Somerford

The Kookaburras and the Hockeyroos have switched their attention to facing Great Britain in Perth in the FIH Pro League on Saturday, with both hoping for some warm weather for Australia’s old enemy.

The world number two Kookaburras will take on the seventh-ranked Brits at 3:30pm WST/6:30pm AEDT on Saturday, followed by the third-ranked Hockeyroos facing 2016 Rio Olympics gold medallists from 5:30pm WST/8:30pm AEDT at Perth Hockey Stadium.

Britain sit top of the men’s standings following a perfect start to their FIH Pro League campaign, which has seen them score 12 goals in two matches.

Kookaburras coach Colin Batch said: “They’ve won both of their games so they’ll be pretty confident.

“We expect some hot weather. It’s a one-off game again so we’ll put all our preparation into recovery and we’ll go from there.”

In the women’s, the British started their FIH Pro League with a 5-1 thrashing from New Zealand on the weekend and will be looking to bounce back.

The Hockeyroos, however, have begun brilliantly, recording two wins, a shootout win and a defeat from four matches to sit second on the standings.

Hockeyroos coach Paul Gaudoin said: “Hopefully we can get up at home in Perth. Hopefully it’s nice and hot for the British too.

Despite Australia’s bright start to the FIH Pro League, which included a ground-breaking win over world champions Netherlands, Gaudoin is refusing to get carried away.

“It’s a long stretch and it’s quite different,” he said.

“It’s early days. It’s pleasing to get some points on the board. We’re wanting to improve each game as we play.

“I wanted us to hold the ball a bit better (against Germany). We struggled to do that.

“Germany put some more pressure on us. There’s lots to learn. We can’t afford to let teams get back into it.”

Meanwhile, the Kookaburras bounced back from a sluggish start in Melbourne against the Netherlands and Belgium, by recording their first FIH Pro League win 4-2 over Germany in Hobart on Sunday.

“We needed to improve and our preparation was very good,” Batch said.

“We were pleased to come away with the win.”

Youngster Jacob Anderson won the Player of the Match award in only his seventh cap for Australia with two goals.

“He keeps wanting to learn,” Batch said. “That’s a credit to him.

“Boccy is a striker who receives well, connects well and he had a hand in another of our goals.

“There’s a lot of positives with him and he finishes in the front of the net which is the reward with the two goals he scored.”

Tickets are selling fast but still available for Saturday’s matches at www.ticketbooth.com.au, from $30 for adults and $10 for children.

The Hockeyroos-GB match will be live on FOX SPORTS 506, while the Kookaburras match will be delayed, but live on kayosports.com.au. Both teams will be announced later in the week.

Saturday 16 February 2019 - Perth Hockey Stadium, Perth
Kookaburras v Great Britain - 3:30pm WST (live on kayosports.com.au, delayed on FOX SPORTS 506)
Hockeyroos v Great Britain - 5:30pm WST (live on FOX SPORTS 506 & kayosports.com.au)
Tickets via ticketbooth.com.au from $30 for adults, $10 for children