Author: Mitch Wynd
The Kookaburras put on a ruthless display against Great Britain in the FIH Pro League semi-final, putting six goals in the net and advancing into the Grand Final.
Jacob Anderson’s lightning hat-trick overcame Great Britain’s early lead, followed by second-half goals to Jeremy Hayward, Blake Govers, and Tim Brand.
The final on Sunday evening local time will be played against Belgium, after their 3-1 victory over the Netherlands.
Great Britain made use of their referral early in the first quarter by successfully having a penalty corner awarded their way, before a second referral awarded them another in strange circumstances.
There had been a strong body check against the British attacker inside the circle, and Jeremy Hayward was green carded as a result - however replays suggested that the culprit was actually Flynn Ogilvie.
The resulting penalty corner was converted by Ashley Jackson, drawing first blood for the British.
The game continued at breakneck speed, before Jacob Anderson took the match by the scruff of its neck with three goals in five minutes.
Set up by some sublime forward passing, all three of Anderson’s goals were scored in open play, the scoring frenzy flipping the match on its head.
The passing and attacking runs from the Kookaburras were simply breathtaking at times, almost the entire half was played at full speed with hardly a moment to reset.
Shortly into the third quarter, Australia earned their first penalty corner of the match and immediately made it count, with Jeremy Hayward’s flick far too good for Great Britain.
Four minutes later, exactly the same happened again - this time Blake Govers was the one to score his first of the match, adding to his formidable goalscoring tally for the tournament.
Great Britain tried to control possession and slow the game down in the final quarter, but still the Kookaburras were able to stream forward and score again, Tim Brand making a great initial run and finishing from point-blank range.
Kookaburras coach Colin Batch was delighted with his team’s performance post-match.
“Extremely happy with the performance tonight - to win a semi final in any competition is a great achievement,” he said.
“We rebounded well after an early goal against, shows the fighting quality of our team. We need to recover well now and prepare for our next match.”
After a shaky start to the European leg with losses to Great Britain and Spain earlier this month, the Kookaburras look to be hitting peak form at the perfect moment.
Australia 6 (Anderson 11’, Anderson 12’, Anderson 16’, Hayward 32’, Govers 36’, Brand 52’)
Great Britain 1 (Jackson 5’)