Kookaburras looking to finish on top

All ears: Tamworth's Matt Willis (19) listens to coach Paul Gaudoin's instructions during the Kookaburras opening win over India at the International Festival of Hockey.

All ears: Tamworth's Matt Willis (19) listens to coach Paul Gaudoin's instructions during the Kookaburras opening win over India at the International Festival of Hockey.

Matt Willis and his Kookaburras side will be out to maintain their unbeaten start to the International Festival of Hockey when they face Malaysia on Saturday.

The Kookaburras are two from two, and locked in for a finals spot, after defeating the Black Sticks on Thursday with a golden double from Kieran Govers and a goal from Aaron Kleinschmidt.

Six minutes into the game New Zealand were a chance with a break away sprint down to their circle, however Australian goalkeeper Tyler Lovell managed to knock the ball away and within seconds it was down in the Australian circle.

Making the most of the opportunity Jake Whetton took a shot on goal, and the deflection was tapped in by Govers. A minute later Govers worked his magic again, to give the Kookaburras an early 2–nil lead. 

Aaron Kleinschmidt then made it 3-nil in the final minute of the first quarter after a couple of quick passes left him undefended at the right of the net and he flicked the ball past New Zealand keeper Richard Joyce.

“It was pleasing to get the win today. The Black Sticks started well but we fought back at the end of the first quarter and into the second. It was some fantastic hockey and quality play,” Kookaburras interim head coach Paul Gaudoin said

“We lost our way a little bit after half time, and maybe relaxed which let them back into the game. We need to make sure that against Malaysia we get 60 minutes of quality play, not perhaps 35 minutes.”

Georgina Morgan and the Hockeyroos were meanwhile playing India on Friday night in the second game of their series.

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