Kookaburras play down India hockey romp

Australia have run riot against India, winning 7-1 to stay unbeaten in Olympic men's hockey.
Australia have run riot against India, winning 7-1 to stay unbeaten in Olympic men's hockey.

Kookaburras coach Colin Batch refused to get carried away after a 7-1 beating of India took Australia's Olympics goals tally to 12 in two games.

World No1 Australia put seven past the eight-time Olympic champions just two days after opening their Tokyo campaign with a 5-3 victory over hosts Japan.

Daniel Beale, Jeremy Hayward, Flynn Oglivie, Joshua Beltz and Tim Brand all scored for the red-hot Kookaburras, while Blake Govers' double took his remarkable international goals record to 92 goals in 105 games.

"The Japan game wasn't the start that we wanted but it was the catalyst to sharpen up our defensive work," Batch said.

"We played much better in the second half and that led on to this game where we defended very well early on.

"That led on to some momentum and some outstanding counter-attacking hockey.

"I don't think you ever isolate a particular game to say 'yes, we're going to make a statement'.

"We've had two good wins and it's important we get off to a good start in the tournament. But there's a lot of hockey in front of us."

India, ranked four in the world and coached by former Australia international Graham Reid, began their Games campaign with a 3-2 victory over New Zealand and started on the front foot at the Oi Hockey Stadium.

But the Kookaburras were 4-0 ahead by halftime and piled on the misery for India after Dilpreet Singh reduced the deficit in the third quarter.

"Tournament hockey is different and we enjoy the challenge of improving game by game and play our best at the end," Batch said.

"The Europeans had the European Championship before the Olympic Games, so that was good preparation for them.

"But, by and large, no-one's been playing international hockey and there's a lot of unknowns.

"We don't know how teams are operating, we're learning on the spot.

"You just want to play as well as you can and get some good results."

Reigning Olympic champions Argentina are the Kookaburras' next opponents on Tuesday morning.

Australian Associated Press