Kookaburras Not Getting Carried Away
Kookaburras coach Colin Batch isn’t getting carried away with Thursday’s 5-1 win over New Zealand and knows the Black Sticks will be a different proposition for Sunday’s Oceania Cup final.
Australia booked their spot in Sunday’s decider (from 5.30pm) with Thursday’s win at Sydney Olympic Park Hockey Centre, with the Kiwis likely to join them as they are heavy favourites to beat Papua New Guinea in Saturday’s final group game.
Jeremy Hayward scored a brace via penalty corners, while Jake Whetton, Tom Craig and Dylan Wotherspoon added further goals in the healthy victory, following Australia’s 30-0 win over PNG on Wednesday night.
“For New Zealand that was their first game of this tournament so they’re going to be a different opposition on Sunday,” Batch said.
“It’s about playing our best at the end. We’ve got a couple of days to work through a few routines and hopefully get an even better performance.”
Batch was pleased with Thursday’s performance, particularly on the defensive end.
“I thought our tackling was particularly good,” he said.
“There was a number of times when we were challenged in the first quarter and right through the game on the edge of the area and our tackling really held up so I was pleased with that.
“We have been doing a lot of work with our tackling, we realise the importance of it.”
The Kookaburras are aiming for their 10th Oceania Cup title and also to claim much-needed ranking points, with the side currently sitting second, with NZ in eighth.
But Batch acknowledged his developing side were building towards the World League Final in India in December and next year where they’ll embark on the Commonwealth Games and World Cup.
“This is a new time and new era for men’s hockey,” Batch said.
“We’re a developing team. We want to become a great team. We’re a long way from that at the moment but there’s some belief happening and we’re developing that.
“World League Three we came from behind a lot to win games and they were tight, tough games.
“There was some belief out of that tournament. There will be more challenges along the way.
“We’re not sure what the future will bring but we’re headed in the right direction.”