Australia men and women retained the Oceania Cup at the Sydney Olympic Park Hockey Centre, beating off the challenge of New Zealand.
Vanuatu men and Fiji women won the inaugural Hockey5s intercontinental championships after both teams played Samoa in the finals.
The Hockeyroos sealed their third consecutive title with a 2-0 win over the Black Sticks. The goals came from Jane Claxton and Kristina Bates in the first half of the match and, despite an improved second half performance from New Zealand, the visiting side were unable to claw their way back into the match.
Although Australia have already qualified for the Hockey Women’s World Cup London 2018, the result means vital ranking points and, importantly, reverses their recent form against New Zealand, which saw them finish behind their Oceania rivals at both the Olympic Games and the Hockey World League Semi-Finals in Brussels.
Speaking to Hockey Australia, goal scorer Bates said: ‘It’s an amazing feeling. The Kiwis have had it over us the last couple of tournaments so it’s really good to get the win today.
‘It puts us in a good spot heading into the Commonwealth Games next year. It’s a good result for us.’
The Kookaburras put in a dominant performance to crush the Black Stick’s aspirations to win their first Oceania Cup title. A 6-0 win signified Australia’s resurgence and desire to make it back to the top of the world rankings. They are currently ranked second in the world behind Argentina.
As both teams have already qualified for the Odisha Hockey Men’s World Cup Bhubaneswar 2018, this was more about ranking points and preparations for next year’s two major events – the Commonwealth Games and the World Cup.
The Kookaburras took a 2-0 lead in the opening five minutes, with goals from Tom Wickham and Dylan Wotherspoon. These were followed by goals from Jake Whetton, Aran Zalewski (2) and a further goal for Wickham. The result means Australia have now won all 10 editions of the Oceania Cup.
In the Oceania InterContinental Hockey5s, Vanuatu beat Samoa 11-1 in the men’s final, while Fiji won the women’s title after they beat Samoa 5-2.
In the men’s Oceania Hockey5’s bronze medal match, Solomon Islands defeated Tonga 6-1, while In the women’s bronze medal match, Solomon Islands also claimed third spot with a 7-2 win over Tonga.
For more information about this event, head on over to Hockey Australia's website.
Photo courtesy of Planet Hockey Magazine