Kookaburras look to future

IT WAS just the tonic to help heal the Olympics heartbreak.

Back in business: Wollongong's Tristan White (middle) was part of the Kookaburras' International Festival of Hockey victory in Melbourne. Picture: Getty Images

Back in business: Wollongong's Tristan White (middle) was part of the Kookaburras' International Festival of Hockey victory in Melbourne. Picture: Getty Images

A young Kookaburras squad was expected to dominate the International Festival of Hockey in Melbourne and delivered in style. 

Wollongong’s Tristan White played a key role in the 3-1 triumph in the final against New Zealand, having made a full recovery from the knee injury which denied him a place in Rio earlier this year. Albion Park striker Kieran Govers, who found the backboard twice during the tournament, was also impressive following a stint playing in Holland.

Govers is the most experienced player in the Australian team for the tournament, playing his 120th international game in the final, but has missed more than a year because of ongoing hip and shoulder problems.

“It was a pleasing win at the end of a pretty tough tournament,” interim coach  Paul Gaudoin said, having replaced Graham Reid, who quit after missing a medal in Brazil. “I think we’ve learned an awful lot over the last two or three weeks as a young developing group and to be able to play in a final, with the pressure of a final, and perform and win was excellent for the group.”

Trent Mitton opened the scoring to the Kookaburras from the field in the 24th minute, with a stunning reverse flick which found the top corner.

Chris Bausor’s desperate slide doubled their advantage, tapping home Dylan Wotherspoon’s shot.

Govers then produced a remarkable mid-field steal, passing off for Jeremy Hayward to seal victory in the final minute. 

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