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Hockeyroos blow out cobwebs
22 Feb 2006 14:11

Australia 2 defeated Canada 1
Goals: AUS – Suzie Faulkner PC 12m, Melanie Twitt PC 24m; CAN – Andrea Rushton PC 17m

Hockey Australia: The Hockeyroos have blown out some cobwebs before the Commonwealth Games in the first game of the three-test series against Canada, coming out with a scrappy 2-1 win in Perth on Wednesday.

Completely dominating the match in all areas but the scoreboard the Hockeyroos created multiple opportunities for themselves in attack, however, failed to capitalise on their hard work. That, combined with some outstanding goalkeeping from Canadian keeper Sarah Forbes made the game look a lot closer than it really was.

National coach, Frank Murray, while happy with the win was disappointed with the Hockeyroos' offensive game.

“We're quite a way off offensively. We had 14 penalty corners and a dozen or so shots - we just have to get better.

“She (Forbes) had a very good night...our decision making offensively wasn't as good as it should have been. We need to handle the ball better when we go into attack.”

While they struggled offensively, the Hockeyroos weren't able to get their usual control through the midfield, something Murray will be looking to work on in the remaining games.

“We helped them congest the play. We have to find ways to create space in the middle of the field, that's the lesson I want them to take from the match.”

That was not all the Australians will be taking from the match with Madonna Blyth and Suzie Faulkner, both under injury clouds, getting through a full match and both showing some good form throughout.

The Hockeyroos opened the scoring in the 12th minute when Faulkner deflected a Nikki Hudson penalty corner shot on goal, sneaking it past the keeper for the Hockeyroos' first.

Canada were able to break back in the 17th minute from one of their rare thrusts forward, drawing a penalty corner that Andrea Rushton was able to score from, the Canadian skipper's flick deflecting off the Hockeyroos' defence and rolling through.

Australia made it 2-1 in the 24th minute when Mel Twitt added to her two career goals when she pounced on a penalty corner deflection and flicked it home, giving the Hockeyroos a one goal lead going into half time.

While the Australians dominated the second half, they were unable to make it count on the scoreboard, struggling offensively, the game ending without another goal being scored.

The series continues on Friday with game two starting at 18:30 and game three on Sunday at the same time.

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