Kieran Govers strike inspires Kookaburras' World Cup win

Kookaburra Kieran Govers celebrates his reverse-stick shot against the Netherlands at the hockey World Cup at The Hague. Picture: REUTERS
Kookaburra Kieran Govers celebrates his reverse-stick shot against the Netherlands at the hockey World Cup at The Hague. Picture: REUTERS


With the contest deadlocked midway through the first half, Albion Park striker Kieran Govers smashed an extraordinary reverse-stick goal to set the Kookaburras on course for their World Cup victory.

The equal of his stunning Champions Trophy winner two years ago - or the stunning finish from an overhead pass earlier in the World Cup tournament - Govers added to his personal highlight reel to score Australia's second goal on the way to a thumping 6-1 triumph over the Netherlands.

The win, which five-time world-player-of-the-year Jamie Dwyer described as better than their 2010 World Cup title, capped off a superb tournament in which Australia had utterly outclassed every opponent.

"For me this is better [than 2010]. To win a World Cup 6-1 is incredible. It's unheard of," Dwyer said.

Powerful defender and penalty corner specialist Chris Ciriello was the hat-trick hero as Australia dismantled the Dutch to silence the raucous Hague crowd.

But it was a ruthless approach taken throughout the tournament, starting with skipper and player-of-the-tournament Mark Knowles, which set the win.

Across the tournament Australia amassed 30 goals, while conceding just three - a feat veteran coach Ric Charlesworth modestly described as "convincing".

"I think we play the best hockey in the world," Charlesworth said.

"We play a brand of hockey which is expansive, creative and quick.

"We have the best defence here by a long way. We conceded three goals, the next team maybe eight or nine? And we scored maybe 15 more goals than anyone else."

Sunday was unquestionably the Kookaburras most dominant performance of the tournament - with Knowles saying it was as close to the perfect game as you could ask for.

"For mine, being a leader in the team is about encouraging and getting the best out of my teammates," he said.

"Today we went pretty close to that I reckon."

Ciriello's hat-trick took his tournament tally to seven goals - second only to Argentina's Gonzalo Peillat (10).

But he was joined on the scoresheet by Australia's second leading scorer Govers (five tournament goals), Glenn Turner and Dwyer.

Govers's spectacular shot from the top of the circle shortly before halftime, which gave Australia a 2-1 buffer at the break, proved pivotal - as did Turner's persistent effort minutes into the second half.

Dwyer's scheming solo effort put a dagger through Dutch hearts, capping off a remarkable victory and a special occasion as he equalled Jay Stacy's record of 321 Kookaburra appearances.

In truth, the game was killed off when Ciriello buried two more goals with his deadly flick as the lead reached four goals - greater than the number of goals Australia conceded all tournament.


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