KOOKABURRAS 9 (5)
Jamie Dwyer 5 (F)
Liam de Young 9 (F)
Glenn Turner 11, 32 (F, F)
Russell Ford 15, 20 (F, F)
Glenn Simpson 37 (F)
Daniel Beale 39 (F)
Liam de Young 40 (F)
ARGENTINA 4 (2)
Facundo Callioni 13 (F)
Augustin Mazilli 20 (PC)
Matias Paredes 33 (F)
Guillermo Schickendantz 40 (F)
THE International Super Series Hockey 9s was designed with the pace and skills of the Kookaburras in mind and they demonstrated just how precisely it was made to measure with a 9-4 win in Sunday’s final against Argentina.
When the sides met in the round robin stages, they battled out a thrilling 4-4 draw, with the Argentines fighting back from 4-1 down.
The Kookaburras were not in a mood to let that happen again but after dominating the opening moments without reward, it took the appearance of Jamie Dwyer off the bench to make an instant impact.
Dwyer somehow curled in the opening goal after five minutes and, as the Australian contemplated his options from a spot on the backline somewhere around the corner-injection line, if the Argentines were thinking “he can never shoot from there,” they were wrong.
After that the chances came thick and fast as the South Americans were pinned in their own half. Four long corners on the trot eventually bore fruit for the Australia, the ball coming wide to Liam De Young whose reverse-stick shot skimmed low into the bottom corner of the goal.
Glenn Turner jabbed in the third but, on a rare attacking foray, a cross from the right was deflected home by Facundo Callioni after 13 minutes to put Argentina back in the game.
The pace became even more frantic as the visitors managed to gain territory but the Kookaburras weathered the storm and struck again when neat approach work from Turner was finished off by Russell Ford.
Argentina came back again a minute before the break when the Australian defence was carved open by Augustin Mazilla to make it 4-2. However, an overtime corner was converted by Ford and the Australians went into half-time 5-2 to the good.
There was no let-up in the second half, Turner adding his second after a solo run and Matias Paredes finding a gap between goalkeeper Tyler Lovell and his near post to keep Argentina in the hunt.
Then the Kookaburras found one more gear, Glenn Simpson, Daniel Beale and Liam de Young all finding the net in spectacular fashion with Guillermo Schickendantz adding Argentina’s final effort.
Dwyer enjoyed the game. “That was probably our best performance of the week, scoring nine goals in front of a really good crowd was great,” he said. “Argentina have a great fighting spirit and we knew they would be a real threat.”
Words by Claire Middleton