Kookaburras claim bronze medal
Sunday August 12, 2012
The Australian men’s Hockey team, the Kookaburras, claimed their sixth Olympic Games medal in a row and sixth Olympic Games bronze medal, with their all-out attack taming the host nation Great Britain in the third place playoff.
The victory gave Australia their fourth bronze medal finish from their past five Olympic Games appearances.
Australia entered the Olympics as the overwhelming favourites, and as a result may see bronze as a failure. However, as time goes on everyone will learn to cherish and appreciate such a special victory.
The challenge for head coach Ric Charlesworth now will be to look towards building over the next two years towards the 2014 World Cup, and what would be required to deliver a second World Cup gold medal.
Post the Olympics, there will be the inevitable review of the playing group and it is unlikely that any players would be rushing a decision.
The excitement aspect to this campaign was the performances a number of young players in the team: Matthew Swann (2011 FIH Young Player of the Year), Kieran Govers, Matthew Gohdes, Russell Ford, Tim Deavin, Simon Orchard and Matthew Butturini all excelled during the course of the campaign.
Australia began the bronze medal match with the same intensity it has shown all campaign. The hosts were relishing the opportunity to finish off their campaign in front of a boisterous home crowd cheering them on to add to their growing medal tally.
Australia took the lead in the 18th minute when Simon Orchard smashed home Australia’s 26th goal for the tournament.
It didn’t take long for Great Britain to equalise through a superbly executed penalty corner. Ashley Jackson sweetly fired the ball to the injector who deflected a goal to tie the scores going into half time.
The second half belonged to the eventual bronze medallist, Australia, forcing three video-aided penalty corners and forcing Great Britain to defend for the first 20 minutes. The second corner gave Jamie Dwyer the opportunity to bask in the glory of scoring his sixth goal in London and his 182nd of his illustrious career.
Great Britain succumbed to Australia’s relentless pressure, providing space for Kieran Govers to seal the victory in the 58th minute with a open net in front of him.
A late surge from the hosts was to no avail, leaving Charlesworth’s men to celebrate a memorable victory in front of many adoring Australian fans.
Australian Men’s Hockey Team Results:
London 2012 Olympic Games
Game 1: defeated South Africa 6-0 Goal scorers: 3 x Jamie Dwyer, Matthew Butturini, Glenn Turner, Chris Ciriello
Game 2: defeated Spain 5-0 - Goal scorers: Russell Ford, Matthew Butturini, Simon Orchard, Glenn Turner, Eddie Ockenden
Game 3: drew with Argentina 2-2 - Goal scorers: Matthew Butturini, Jamie Dwyer
Game 4: drew with Great Britain 3-3 - Goal scoresr: 2 x Russell Ford, Mark Knowles
Game 5 defeated Pakistan 7-0 - Goal scorers: 2 x Chris Ciriello, Liam de Young, Mark Knowles, Jamie Dwyer, Russell Ford, Glenn Turner
Semi final 1: lost to Germany 2-4 - Goal scorers: Kieran Govers, Glenn Turner
Bronze Medal Match: defeated Great Britain 3-1 - Goal scorers: Simon Orchard, Jamie Dwyer, Kieran Govers
6 x Jamie Dwyer
4 x Russell Ford, Glenn Turner
3 x Matthew Butturni, Chris Ciriello
2 x Mark Knowles, Kieran Govers, Simon Orchard
1 x Eddie Ockenden, Liam de Young
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