Globe-trotting Govers arrives in flick of time

HOCKEY 

After travelling for 42 hours and using gear borrowed from his brother, Illawarra Olympian Kieran Govers has led NSW to a stunning upset of Australian hockey powerhouse Queensland.

Govers landed in Canberra for the national tournament just 20 minutes before Tuesday's first game against South Australia, after the last of his four flights en route from Amsterdam was delayed.

Making the situation worse, Govers' clothes, sticks and shin pads were still in his luggage in London because the airline left them behind for the trip to Sydney via Singapore.

But the 23,000-kilometre journey was worthwhile when NSW thrashed South Australia 5-1 and then overpowered Queensland 5-3 - a team including eight Kookaburras representatives, notably Australian legend Jamie Dwyer.

"I've had to borrow all of my brother's gear," he said.

I turned up with nothing, other than my carry-on luggage.

"I'm walking around in my NSW gear right now, because it's all I've got to wear, other than a pair of jeans.

"The flight was delayed, so I caught a cab straight from the airport and turned up as the boys were out there warming up for the game.

"I'm pretty tired, but the results have been good, so I can't complain too much."

NSW play Tasmania today, a team which Govers said the Waratahs "owed one" after they were "taught a lesson" by the Tigers last year.

Govers was reunited with his possessions late yesterday, and travels to Wollongong on Sunday at the completion of the Australian tournament.

He flies to the Kookaburras' high performance camp in Perth and then back to Europe next Thursday.

The 24-year-old from Albion Park was among Australia's best when they were beaten by Germany in the London Olympic semi-final, going on to win bronze against Great Britain.

After the Olympics, Govers travelled to the Netherlands where he has played six games for Den Bosch, about 80 kilometres from Amsterdam.

Yesterday's victory over Queensland will rank among the more impressive of his career.

Govers scored with 10 minutes remaining to put NSW ahead at 4-3, before his Australian Olympic teammate Matthew Butturini put victory beyond doubt.

"They're packed with Kookaburras, so we're pretty happy with it," he said.

"We've got a young team, they're all full of energy and we really took it to them."

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