HOCKEYROOS 7 (2)
Georgie Parker 8, 34 (FG, FG)
Madonna Blyth 13, 37, 40 (FG, FG, FG)
Jade Close 23 (PC)
Brooke Peris 26 (FG, FG)
CANADA 0 (0)
It was Jade Close’s 26th birthday but it was skipper Madonna Blyth who had most to celebrate after grabbing a spectacular hat-trick as the Hockeyroos crushed Canada in the International Super Series Hockey 9s on Friday night.
The Canadians will be potential opponents in the game’s traditional format at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow next year but they were dispatched without mercy as the Australians made the most of the extra-wide goals.
The result means Australia and Argentina will go head to head in Sunday’s final – though they will meet first in the last round-robin match on Saturday – suggesting that the weekend’s action could be a humdinger.
Georgie Parker opened the scoring, cutting into the circle and unleashing an unstoppable tomahawk while Blyth’s first came after 13 minutes when she roofed the ball from 10 metres.
Canada’s best chance dribbled off the side of a post just before half time and any hope they might have had of pressuring the home side collapsed when wayward injections cost them opportunities from two penalty corners.
Patient Hockeyroos build-up play soon netted them their third, Close injecting then slapping home a corner and then Brooke Peris fired in a backhand strike from the top of the circle just when it seemed the chance had gone.
Peris, who made her senior debut against Korea in March and is the cousin of Olympic gold medallist Nova Peris, is having a ball.Parker beat two Canadians and the goalkeeper on her way to scoring Australia’s fifth and then Blyth rounded off a perfect evening with the sixth and a classy deflection for number seven practically as the siren sounded.
“It was a bit frustrating early but once we got the second goal it all happened so that was really good,” she said. “I’m really looking forward to playing Argentina - they are among the best so it should be really exciting.”
Watch the Hockeyroos take on Argentina TWICE, live on ABC 1 on Saturday and Sunday afternoons.