Victorian Institute of Sport

Hockeyroos end decade long drought

Monday, 04 February 2019

FIH Pro League - Australia v Netherlands

The Hockeyroos have ended a decade of Dutch dominance with a 1-0 win over the World Champions Netherlands in their FIH Pro League opener in Melbourne.

Victorian Institute of Sport’s very own Rachael Lynch was the stand out performer with several defensive stops and the match MVP.

The long term VIS scholarship holder said that she knew they were going to “come out hard and play well.”

“We hung on. It makes a difference when you can score. One will do in this situation.

“It’s been a long time coming, so I’m rapt,” said Lynch.

The victory was Australia’s first over the Dutch since July 2009 at the Champions Trophy. Since that day, the two sides have come head to head in 19 matches.

Some strong attacking pressure from co-captains Jodie Kenny and Emily Chalker (nee Smith) created a number of scoring opportunities in the first half and held the home team in good stead. 

The Hockeyroos continued to mount the pressure throughout the third term and were able to draw consecutive penalty corners through Rosie Malone. 

Hometown hero Lynch asserted herself in the final term, stopping a crucial shot from Kyra Fortuin before preventing Yibbi Jansen from scoring with a diving save. 

Lynch could do no wrong late in the match, she stopped a rocketing penalty corner shot in the 56th minute, securing the Australian victory. 

A late referral from the Netherlands threatened to give them an equalising opportunity but the decision was overturned. 

The Hockeyroos now turn their attention to Sunday’s match against Belgium in Melbourne with tickets almost sold out. 

Hockeyroos Paul Gaudoin said: “It’s pleasing. It’s good for the girls. We didn’t play that well but we found a way. Hopefully it’ll instil some belief.” 

Australia 1 (Claxton 21’)
Netherlands 0

VIS Girls: Rachael Lynch, Ashlee Wells, Hayley Padget, Sophie Taylor, Lily Brazel & Kristina Bates

Australia v Belgium

The following day at the State Netball Hockey Centre in Melbourne, the Hockeyroos fell agonisingly short against Belgium in a nail-biting 2-1 encounter.

It was a tightly contested affair early but Belgium broke out to a two goal lead late in the fourth thanks to goals from Michelle Struijk and Louise Versavel in the 35th and 47th minutes respectively.

Brooke Peris did her best to bring Australia back from the brink in the dying minutes of the game, backing her way into the attacking circle and nailing a powerful field goal in the 57th minute of the match.

Australia now sit fourth on the FIH Pro League ladder having recorded one win and one loss. They head to Tasmania next week to take on Germany and China who sit seventh and eighth on the ladder respectively.

“It’s disappointing, we didn’t come out with the vigour that we were hoping for after what we did against Holland,” said Hockeyroos coach Paul Gaudoin.  

“Disappointed with our result and our performance, our skill level and physical effort has to be better. There was a bit of fatigue there but there’s no excuses. We need to be better with the ball and cleaner.”

The Australian’s did their best to tie up the match late, creating several consecutive penalty corner opportunities and subsequent scoring chances.

The Hockeyroos pulled goalkeeper Lynch from the field with a minute to spare giving them an extra player in attack.

As a result Hockeyroos captain Emily Chalker ran the ball along the ball baseline in the dying seconds of the match, her shot was on target but goalkeeper Aisling D’Hooghue defended the play perfectly, securing the Belgium win.

The Hockeyroos must now turn their attention to Saturday’s match against China in Tasmania.

Australia 1 (Peris 57’)
Belgium 2 (Struijk 35’, Versavel 47’)

VIS Girls: Rachael Lynch, Ashlee Wells, Hayley Padget, Sophie Taylor, Lily Brazel & Kristina Bates

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