ALBION Park’s Kieran Govers has marked his international return with a double for the Kookaburras in their win over New Zealand.
After more than a year out of the game because of injury, Govers scored two goals in as many minutes, in just his second game back.
Govers opened the scoring with a tap in off a deflected Jake Whetton shot, before doubling Austalia’s lead moments later from a shot in off the post.
The Kookaburras went on to win 3-1, with fellow Wollongong Tristan White also continuing his successful return from a knee injury which kept him out of the Rio Olympics earlier this year.
“It was pleasing to get the win today,” interim head coach Paul Gaudoin said.
“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.
“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.” Govers’ return comes after a period of upheaval within Australian hockey, after coach Graham Reid quit in the wake of their failure to capture an Olympics medal.
The Kookaburras are expected to cruise past Malaysia on Saturday (3pm), before playing in the International Hockey Festival final, in Melbourne at 6.30pm on Sunday.
The Hockeyroos final game against India is at 2pm on Sunday, after opening the series with a 1-nil loss earlier this week.