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Australian Junior teams impressive at Junior World Cup Qualifier
11 Dec 2008 13:48
 

The Australian Women's and Men's U21 teams have made impressive starts to their 2009 Junior World Cup campaigns, with both teams defeating New Zealand at the Junior World Cup Qualifier event in Brisbane.

Although both Australia and New Zealand have already qualified for the 2009 Junior World Cup tournaments, the outcome of this qualifier will determine their pool allocation, which could ultimately impact on their Junior World Cup campaigns.

Both matches were delayed due to weather conditions, however it didn't stop the Australian teams setting up commanding first half leads.

Although the Australian women were well in control in the first half and entered half time with a two goal lead, New Zealand were competitive early, and if not for some impressive saves from the Australian keeper, they could have found themselves well and truly in the game.

New Zealand was the first to score after half time, however Australia quickly regained the ascendancy to score the last two goals of the match and secure the victory.

Kate Denning and Marnie Hudson performed well for Australia, while Jemma Buckley was a focal point in front of the Australian goal.

Australian National Junior Coach Katrina Powell said she was happy with the overall performance.

'It was a good first up performance. We were happy to walk away with the win, and we will look to build on this for the remainder of the qualifier tournament.' said Powell.

The Australian Men's U21 team was equally in control of their match in the first half, despite finding themselves one goal down only seven minutes into the game. However, showing a great level of maturity, Australia responded to score four unanswered goals in the first half to go into the half time break 4-1. However, despite scoring four first half goals, Australia failed to convert numerous chances which could have put the game well beyond doubt.

New Zealand entered the second half with a new game plan which restricted Australia's scoring ability, resulting in a scrappy second half.

A last minute goal to Tim Bates, his third for the match, ensured Australia's scoreline remained healthy and was a worthy way to finish the game.

'Although we scored four first half goals we had a number of chances that we failed to convert. We learnt a bit in the second half when New Zealand changed their style but overall I was happy with our performance.' said coach Jason Duff.

Both the men's and women's squads will face New Zealand again on Saturday 13 December and Sunday 14 December to conclude the Junior World Cup Qualifier event.

Australia U21 Women 4 New Zealand U21 Women 1 (2-0 half time)
Goals - Aus Hurtz 17m PC, Aus Buckley 23m FG/ 61m FG, NZ Michelsen 45m FG, Aus Bruce 56m PC

Australia U21 Men 5 New Zealand U21 Men 2 (4-1 half time)
Goals - NZ Hilton 7m FG, Aus Ellis 19m PC, Aus Govers 20m FG, Aus Bates 29m PS/ 33m FG/ 70m PC, NZ Staples 41m PC

Source: Hockey Australia



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