A 4-1 win for the Kookaburras saw them move to second place on the FIH Pro League table and – despite only playing half as many matches – only 5 points behind the world number one Netherlands side.

The win came just one week after they narrowly beat the Spaniards 4-3 in a seven-goal thriller, but the Kookaburras have proved they are settling in nicely to their competition form.  

Ever aggressive and determined on attack, it seemed Spain had a mountain to climb if they were to claim just their second win this season, and against a hot Australian outfit.

Yet it would be Spain who would strike first. Finding the back of the net within less than two minutes, putting scoreboard pressure on Australia early and subsequently carrying all the momentum.

But if Spain thought that single moment would set the tone for this match, they had another thing coming. Australia answered back almost instantly to level the score, through a tidy field goal to NSW Institute of Sport’s Flynn Ogilvie.

With 55 minutes left on the clock and almost a whole game of hockey to play, both teams were back at square one, hunting another goal.

Four minutes later Australia officially started an onslaught.

Nathan Ephraums delivered a sublime shot, carrying the ball away from the keeper and allowing it to sail straight into the back of the net.

“As a striker, it’s always good when you score,” Nathan Ephraums said post-match.

“Welchy put in a great assist to me, it was a simple one, we practice those a lot in training so it was good to put it past the goalie and I’m happy of course!”
As the game continued, the Kookaburras continued to make Spain pay. Despite having three opportunities to score through penalty corners, the Spaniards couldn’t break Australia’s defence.
By halftime, Jeremy Hayward’s efforts paid off with another goal to add to his tally this tournament and extend Australia’s lead by two goals.
In the third, the Kookaburras sealed the deal on the win with a beautiful shot by NSW’s Tim Brand.
Set up with a fantastic tuck under shot from Nathan Ephraums to Brand, he tapped it in straight past the keeper and the Kookaburras’ hands flew up in celebration.

“I think last year we put a lot of work into our fitness and getting our mindset straight and it’s all coming together really nicely.”
With the scoreboard sitting at 4-1, Spain grew even more frustrated and with just minutes to play they were down to nine men.
But it wasn’t to be and for the green and gold machine, it was yet another win to celebrate, as they charge on in their campaign.
“We’ve had a great five games, including two comeback wins and we just have a lot of belief in what we’re doing out there and it’s showing out there so we couldn’t be happier so far.” Ephraums said.
The Kookaburras will look to extend their unbeaten streak in less than 24 hours when they take on FIH Pro League newcomers Ireland tomorrow night.

Looking ahead, Ephraums had one quick message for his side.

“We can’t complain, so let’s keep it rolling.”

Match Details
Spain: 1 (Pere Amat 2’)
Kookaburras: 4 (Flynn Ogilvie 4’, Nathan Ephraums 8’, Jeremy Hayward 25’, Tim Brand 44’)
In Rourkela, India
Kookaburras: 2. Tom Craig, 3. Corey Weyer, 6. Matt Dawson, 8. Johan Durst (gk), 10. Joshua Beltz, 11. Eddie Ockenden, 20. Ky Willott, 21. Jack Welch, 22. Flynn Ogilvie, 23. Daniel Beale (c), 32. Jeremy Hayward, 7. Nathan Ephraums, 12. Jake Whetton, 16. Tim Howard, 17. Aran Zalewski, 26. James Collins 29. Tim Brand, 30. Andrew Charter (gk)

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