Hockeyroos defeat India at 2024 FIH ProLeague

Grace and Tatum Stewart have both scored in successive matches as solid performances at both ends of the pitch allow the Hockeyroos to run out 3-0 victors over the host nation.

India, who just months ago missed out on qualifying for the Olympics, was desperate to claim their first win on home soil this year and deliver in front of another packed, supportive crowd.

Knowing Australia were going to come out firing, India held their own in the first, putting returning goalkeeper Zoe Newman to the test early, with their first penalty corner in the opening minutes.

But despite the early pressure, the Hockeyroos didn’t let up and in the second, their patience and gritty determination paid off.

Charging down the field, India was clearly on the back foot as NSW Institute of Sport (NSWIS) Kaitlin Nobbs found herself within striking distance on the right-hand side but instead, she slotted a divine pass to fellow NSWIS scholarship holder Grace Stewart poised in a prime position and the Hockeyroos had their first goal.

I said to [Kaitlin] after the game, you could’ve had that and had a double!” Stewart said post-match. 

“But no it was really nice teamwork, a lot of our passing was really nice today, cutting through them and I saw Nobby get the ball and I was like you’ve got to get it to the back post! So I just ran in and luckily she tapped it to me, so that was nice.”

Grace Stewart

In response, both India and Australia upped the tempo and intensity, as collectively they had three shots on target, but a lack of judgement from India was enough for the Hockeyroos to score a penalty corner and once again, Tatum Stewart was in position.

Exactly as she had the night prior, and in the very same goal, the Queenslander scored her second goal of the tournament, doubling her career tally in green and gold.

Within five minutes the Hockeyroos were two-nil up and India was scrambling. But the hosts fought back in the second half in a desperate effort to weaken the Hockeyroos’ defence.

And when it appeared India had a chance, with Australia down to nine players through a yellow card to Dayle Dolkens, Kaitlin Nobbs got another opportunity to score.

Going one-on-one with India’s goalie Bichu Devi Kharibam, Nobbs was ultimately too crafty and the Hockeyroos bagged their third, sealing the victory, and proving they are a team fast finding their former strength.

“It’s definitely good to get back-to-back wins on the board, we were disappointed with that first game against China,” Stewart said.

“So to come out and have two solid performances, we’re very happy but we know we have a lot to work on moving forward.”

Now, a blockbuster clash awaits, with a one-day break until the Hockeyroos take on the unbeaten Netherlands, in a highly awaited match-up between the top two teams in the world.

“It’s always a challenge, and that’s what we’re here for, to play the best teams and make sure we’re preparing for the Olympics as well as we can,” Stewart said.

“It’s going to be tough, but we always step up, we take it to them and we love these games against them.”
“Everyone knows the Dutch is going to be a hard-fought game,” Tatum Stewart said post-match, as she was awarded Player of the Match.

“If we can keep improving like we have over these past two games we’re going to stick it to them for sure.”

Match Details
India: 0
Hockeyroos: 3 (Grace Stewart 19’, Tatum Stewart 23’, Kaitlin Nobbs 55‘)
In Bhubaneswar, India
Hockeyroos: 1. Claire Colwill, 5. Grace Young, 8. Maddison Brooks, 11. Alice Arnott, 14. Steph Kershaw, 17. Lucy Sharman, 18. Jane Claxton, 21. Renee Taylor, 22. Tatum Stewart, 30. Grace Stewart (c), 41. Zoe Newman (gk), 4. Amy Lawton, 13. Hattie Shand, 15. Kaitlin Nobbs, 19. Jocelyn Bartram (gk), 20. Karri Sommerville, 29. Rebecca Greiner, 52. Dayle Dolkens

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