Author: Mitch Wynd
Australia’s U21 team, the Burras, suffered a tough loss overnight in the U21 Eight Nations Tournament in Spain, with Germany beating the team 3-2 after a close game.
The tournament, played in Madrid (Spain) from June 10 to 16, includes some of the strongest hockey nations with Great Britain, Belgium, the Netherlands, India, Germany, Austria and Spain giving the Australians plenty of international game practice.
Head Coach Ben Bishop said the team had looked forward to playing Germany, knowing the strong team would really challenge the Burras.
“It was a really tough loss, as I think we were a touch better than them,” said Bishop.
Ehren Hazell lead the team’s quest for goals in the second minute after a strong defence lead to a counter-attack. The Australian lead didn’t last as the team struggled to keep the Germans at bay.
“We lost our way a little with too many turnovers towards the second half, which then allowed Germany to get back into the game and score two goals before the first break,” Bishop explained.
The second and third quarter was an even game, although the Germans managed to get another goal against the Burras in the third quarter.
The Australians came back strong in the last quarter, putting pressure on the opponents and creating a number of turnovers. Tom Harvie scored an impressive corner with 12 minutes to go and the German goal keeper was kept busy for the remainder of the game. Several PCs were saved by the opponents and one by the post.
The team is now set to play for bronze against another strong nation, Belgium, tomorrow.
“We pushed all the way to the end with great effort by everyone. It was a great learning for our group as I think they started to realise they can mix it and be the best in the world at this level. Playing Belgium is a silver lining to our loss as it gives us another strong and different style to play against,” Bishop said.
The team 18-man strong team consists of players from around Australia:
(Name, surname, state)
Cade BANDITT QLD
Jonathan BRETHERTON VIC
Tom BROWN NSW
Nathan EPHRAUMS VIC
Harrison FARRELL QLD
Michael FRANCIS QLD
Dane GAVRANICH WA
Sam GRAY NSW
Liam HART QLD
Tom HARVEY WA
Ehren HAZELL NSW
Max HENDRY VIC
Brayden KING WA
Dylan MARTIN NSW
Sam MCCULLOCH TAS
Alistair MURRAY WA
Daine RICHARDS NSW
Christian STARKIE WA
Ben WHITE VIC
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