Rio Olympics: Kookaburras on cloud nine after hitting form in Brazil

Perth boy Aran Zalewski in action against Brazil.
Perth boy Aran Zalewski in action against Brazil.

AFTER a series of disappointing losses and nail-biting wins, the Kookaburras took out some of their frustrations with a flurry of goals in a 9-0 win over Brazil in the men’s last pool match of the hockey competition.

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In their first international match against the host nation, it was Australia that had the samba crowd dancing to their tune.

Such was their dominance, it was several minutes into the final quarter when Brazil finally had the ball into their attacking circle.

The oldest man in the tournament, 37-year-old Jamie Dwyer, got the party started with two goals midway through the first quarter, the second on his reverse his 243rd for his country from the YM Coastal City star.

A few minutes later his cousin Matthew Gohdes got in on the action with a reverse-stick thunderbolt and Australia went into the quarter break with a 3-0 lead.

The second quarter was all about Wesley South Perth, with penalty corner specialist Chris Ciriello cannoning one off the post.

But soon after it turned into the Glenn Turner show, with Ciriello’s WASPS teammate cleaning up off another penalty corner, then adding further typically industrious goals with three-minute breaks to complete his hat-trick for the quarter.

With a 6-0 half-time lead, it might have looked as though Australia would challenge Belgium’s haul of 12-0 against Brazil but it was not to be.

Victoria Park HC’s Matthew Dawson scored in the first five minutes of the third quarter with a strong penalty corner to take the Kookaburras to 7-0 and Blake Govers had goals from penalty corners in the last minute of both quarters to complete the 9-0 caning.

It was a welcome return to form that will put the team in good stead for a stern test against the Netherlands in their quarter-final on Monday.