There has been a nice pointer towards the Commonwealth Games for the Australian men’s hockey team, beating South Africa 7-0.
The Kookaburras have maintained their undefeated record in game three of the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup in Ipoh with a resounding 7-0 win over Commonwealth Games opponents South Africa on Monday.
Despite the score being 0-0 for the first half hour of the match, the Kookaburras took advantage of three opportunities in quick succession to go in 3-0 up at the halftime break.
Trent Mitton opened the scoring just a day after his 50th appearance for Australia before Jamie Dwyer finished a surging solo run with a powerful tomahawk into the far corner for 2-0.
On the stroke of halftime Nick Budgeon took his tally for the tournament to five as he netted another penalty corner.
The Tasmanian has now scored in every one of the Kookaburras’ opening three matches at this tournament.
In the second half, Dwyer’s scored again for 4-0 after excellent work from fellow veteran Rob Hammond.
Six minutes later it was 5-0 as powerful Victorian Chris Ciriello scored his 70th international goal and Daniel Beale then added his name to the score sheet with quarter of an hour remaining to make it 6-0.
Finally, captain Mark Knowles rounded off proceedings, crashing home a loose ball for 7-0.
“I expected a reaction from South Africa because they had a bad match against China,” Kookaburras coach Ric Charlesworth said.
“We had chances to score before we did but we didn’t take them and that’s frustrating.
“We tried a few things on corners – it was a chance to experiment but you still want to score them.”
The Kookaburras are sitting top of the standings and are yet to concede a goal in the competition.
Queenslander Matt Gohdes missed the match with a bruised foot after being struck in Sunday’s contest against Canada.
X-rays showed no sign of a break and he is expected to be in contention to play in the Kookaburras’ next match, against Korea on Thursday.