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News for 25 October 2015

All the news for Sunday 25 October 2015

Kookaburras finish on top

Kookaburras defeat Black Sticks 3-2 in Oceania Cup final

The Kookaburras have won the 2015 Oceania Cup over Kiwi rivals the New Zealand Black Sticks following up Thursday’s 3-1 win with a 3-2 victory in Stratford, New Zealand Sunday afternoon.

Australia’s senior players lead the way with an opening goal from Goulburn's Glenn Turner four minutes after the starting whistle, followed by an on-target flick from Jamie Dwyer and a third quarter strike from Trent Mitton.

Kookaburras coach Paul Gaudoin said, “I thought we started really well and stuck to our game plan today putting a lot of pressure on New Zealand. We created many turnovers and opportunities to score, however, towards the end we went off course, which resulted in a tight second half. It’s good to win games where you feel like you have played well, but there’s still plenty of room for improvement for us.”

Speaking about this year’s Oceania Cup selection with a mix between experienced and inexperienced players, Gaudoin added, “The opportunity to get young guys playing and having senior players still showing what they can do is important. Again, today was a final, so the experience for everyone in our team is valuable.

“We will now go to India to play three test matches in Raipur and then look towards the World League finals in November/December. This will be a very big tournament featuring the world’s best countries.”

The Kookaburras pulled the trigger early in the match, after forward Glenn Turner netted a well-executed goal past the Black Sticks goalkeeper Kyle Pontifex just four minutes after the starting whistle, giving Australia an early lead 1-0.

Australia’s most capped player Jamie Dwyer showcased his world renowned skills, after managing to work the ball back down to the Kookaburras’ attacking circle, two minutes after Turner’s goal and flicking an on-target strike into the back of the net, 2-0.

At the other end, New Zealand’s forwards were working together well as a team, which quickly awarded them with their first opportunity at the 20th minute mark. Fighting back, James Coughlan took on Australia’s goalkeeper Tyler Lovell, halving the Black Sticks deficit 2-1.

The third quarter presented both teams with valuable opportunities, however, numerous penalty corners came and went. With no goals recorded for over 20 minutes, Trent Mitton quickly broke the ice for the Kookaburras. Working the ball through Australia’s attacking third, Mitton set-up a powerful strike from the top of the circle, sending the ball into the bottom left of the goals and adding to Australia’s tally 3-1.

The Kookaburras were not yet out of the woods with over a quarter remaining. New Zealand managed to work themselves a critical penalty corner opportunity to again half the deficit with Australia in the 53rd minute. Setting up their strongest battery, Kiwi Kane Russell pulled off a powerful strike that couldn’t be denied by keeper Tyler Lovell, setting the score at 3-2.

With three minutes remaining on the clock, it was do or die for New Zealand if they wanted to secure their place at the 2016 Olympic Games. Making a snap decision, the Black Sticks substituted their goalkeeper for a 12th man to try and increase their chances of deadlocking the score before the final siren, however, Australia’s robust defence denied them of any opportunity, finishing on top with the win 3-2.                

The Kookaburras’ World League squad for Raipur, India will be named in the coming weeks. Australia will be joined by some of the world’s best team’s from 27 November to 6 December 2015. This tournament will be crucial in helping make selection for the prestigious 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. 
Glenn Turner 4 (FG)
Jamie Dwyer 6 (FG)
Trent Mitton 44 (FG) 

Jame Coughlan 20 (FG)
Kane Russell 53 (PC)                                       

Kookaburras Squad
Athlete (Hometown, State) caps/goals
Tristan Clemons (Bunbury, WA) 25/0
Matthew Dawson (Central Coast, NSW) 24/3
Tim Deavin (Launceston, TAS) 117/6
Jamie Dwyer (Rockhampton, QLD) 345/232
Matt Gohdes (Rockhampton, QLD) 135/45
Blake Govers (Wollongong, NSW) 17/16
Fergus Kavanagh (Geraldton, WA) 210/16
Mark Knowles (Rockhampton, QLD) 269/22
Eddie Ockenden (Hobart, TAS) 256/63
Glenn Turner (Goulburn, NSW) 118/88  
Aran Zalewski (Margaret River, WA) 70/8              
Used Substitute
Joshua Beltz (Hobart, TAS) 4/2
Joel Carroll (Darwin, NT) 102/2
Tom Craig (Lane Cove, NSW) 13/5
Chris Ciriello (Melbourne, VIC) 174/113
Tyler Lovell (Perth, WA) 54/0
Flynn Ogilvie (Wollongong, NSW) 11/5  
Trent Mitton (Perth, WA) 72/27
Oceania Cup Final Standings
1. Australia
2. New Zealand
3. Fiji
4. Samoa

Hockey Australia media release

Roos claim Oceania Cup title

Hockeyroos win 2-1 over Black Sticks in Oceania Cup final shoot-out

The Hockeyroos have claimed the 2015 Oceania Cup title after defeating Trans-Tasman rivals the New Zealand Black Sticks 2-1 in dramatic circumstances. 

It took a shoot-out to separate the two sides after the match had finished 1-1 in regulation time with the Hockeyroos going on to win the shoot-out 2-1, claiming back their 2013 Oceania Cup title.

Hockeyroos head coach Adam Commens said, “It’s always a difficult match against New Zealand and we have brought a very young and inexperienced team here, so to get the result against them at their home ground is a wonderful achievement.

“We were confident with our shoot-out and penalty corners today. I thought New Zealand defended very well, however, ultimately we got the result and once again are Oceania Cup champions.”

Discussing the Hockeyroos’ shoot-out performance, Commens added, “It’s something that we train hard for and I was very pleased with how we executed our goals. I thought that both goalkeepers played very well today, in particular Rachael Lynch during the shoot-out scenario.”

There was no holding back for the Black Sticks during the start of the gold medal final, taking an early 1-0 lead after Kiwi Petrea Webster coolly slotted the ball over Australia’s goalkeeper Ashlee Wells in the 9th minute, putting the Black Sticks in front 1-0.

Fighting back, the Hockeyroos turned the score around at the 23rd minute. Victorian Laura Barden sneaked a quick on target deflection past New Zealand’s goalkeeper Amelia Gibson, deadlocking the score 1-1.

The Hockeyroos managed to penetrate their attacking circle, however, couldn’t seem to breakdown the Black Sticks robust defensive structure to convert their opportunities, pushing the match into a deciding shoot-out on the final siren.

During the shoot-out, tensions were high with the 2015 Oceania Cup title at stake. The Black Sticks were up first, Stacey Michelsen was quickly denied access by Australia’s goalkeeper Rachael Lynch. Emily Smith stepped up next for the Hockeyroos, however, was also unable to get her strike past the Black Sticks goalkeeper Sally Rutherford, scores remained deadlocked 0-0.

In the next three attempts, New Zealand Black Sticks’ Elizabeth Thompson and Samantha Charlton and Hockeyroos’ Karri McMahon were all denied access. Jodie Kenny finally broke the ice for the Hockeyroos on their third attempt, pushing the girls in green and gold 1-0 up.

Charlotte Harrison struck back for the Black Sticks on their fourth attempt, levelling the score 1-1. Hockeyroos’ Mariah Williams followed with an on-target strike, securing Australia a 2-1 victory after Olivia Merry missed New Zealand’s final shoot-out attempt.

The Hockeyroos will now look ahead to their World League Final campaign in Rosario, Argentina from 6-14 December 2015. The Hockeyroos’ World League squad will be named in the coming weeks.
Laura Barden 23 (FG) 

Petrea Webster 9 (FG)       
*Australia win 2-1 on shoot-out. 

Shoot-out details
Stacey Michelsen [NZL] - MISS (0-0)
Emily Smith [AUS] - MISS (0-0)
Elizabeth Thompson [NZL] - MISS (0-0)
Karri McMahon [AUS] - MISS (0-0)
Samantha Charlton [NZL] - MISS (0-0)
Jodie Kenny [AUS] - GOAL (1-0 AUS)
Charlotte Harrison [NZL] - GOAL (1-1)
Mariah Williams [AUS] - GOAL (2-1 AUS)
Olivia Merry [NZL] - MISS (2-1 AUS)

Hockeyroos Squad
Athlete (Hometown, State) caps/goals
Madonna Blyth (Brisbane, QLD) 311/68
Jane Claxton (Adelaide, SA) 73/6
Kirstin Dwyer (Mackay, QLD) 84/8
Anna Flanagan (Canberra, ACT) 154/35
Jodie Kenny (Wamuran, QLD) 149/92
Stephanie Kershaw (Townsville, QLD) 6/2
Karri McMahon (Berri, SA) 76/8
Brooke Peris (Darwin, NT) 65/12
Kathryn Slattery (South Stirling, WA) 28/8
Emily Smith (Crookwell, NSW) 130/56
Ashlee Wells (Moe, VIC) 57/0
Used Substitute
Laura Barden (Kew, VIC) 6/3
Edwina Bone (Evatt, ACT) 84/2
Madison Fitzpatrick (Cabarita Beach, NSW)* 6/3
Rachael Lynch (Warrandyte, VIC) 129/0
Georgina Morgan (Armidale, NSW) 17/1
Ashleigh Nelson (Wagin, WA) 185/66
Mariah Williams (Parkes, NSW) 24/4
*Madison Fitzpatrick is a scholarship holder at the Queensland Academy of Sport.
Oceania Cup Final Standings
1. Australia
2. New Zealand Black Sticks
3. Samoa

Hockey Australia media release

Black Sticks hurting after Oceania Cup losses

The Black Sticks Men have not got the win they wanted against Australia at the Oceania Cup – a 2-3 loss dashing their chances of automatic qualification for the 2016 Rio Olympics. 

It was a big ask for the World No. 7 Kiwis to beat the top-ranked Australian side in a must-win match, and two early goals from Australia didn’t help the Black Sticks’ cause.

Head coach Colin Batch says his side are gutted not to get the result they have worked so hard for.

“The guys are hurting, there is no doubt about it, but I’m very proud of their performance. We played at a high level, and so did the Australians, we just didn’t get the result we wanted.”

“To fall two goals behind so early in the game is a puzzle for us, we had spoken about our starts and our restarts and how that had to be a focus.”

Batch said that it was pleasing to have dominated the last quarter and to see the players have so much belief that they could find the equaliser as the clock counted down.

In front of a packed vocal Taranaki crowd, it was Glenn Turner and then Jamie Dwyer who scored within the opening six minutes.

The Black Sticks settled into the game in the second quarter and it was North Harbour’s James Coughlan who got the Kiwi hopes up when he scored in the 20th minute.

The game appeared almost out of reach when Australia’s Trent Mitton scored in the third quarter to give them a 3-1 lead, but the Kiwis were resilient and fired in the final spell with four penalty corners awarded in quick succession.

It was Southern’s Kane Russell who capitalised, drag flicking a shot into Australia’s backboard to give the Kiwis a chance of a comeback. But the Australian defence held firm and it was the visitors that lifted the cup shortly after the game ended.

The women’s match was close to a repeat of the 2013 Oceania Cup final in Stratford, the Black Sticks Women were on the wrong side of a penalty shoot-out following a 1-1 draw today.

North Harbour’s Petrea Webster was the first to score in the ninth minute and it remained that way until the 23rd minute when Laura Barden pegged one back.

With both teams all tied at full time, the penalty shoot-out gave New Zealand a final chance. Goalkeeper Sally Rutherford blocked Australia’s first two attempts but the New Zealand attackers struggled to get it passed Rachael Lynch in goal.

Black Stick Charlotte Harrison was the scorer for the Kiwis with Mariah Williams and Jodie Kenny securing the 2-1 penalty shoot-out win for Australia. 

In the play-off games, Fiji claimed the bronze medal after an 11-1 win over Samoa while Samoa Women leave with bronze medals as the third highest placed Oceania team at the tournament.

Black Sticks Men vs Australia
Full time: 3-2 (Australia win)
Half time: 2-1 (Australia lead)
NZ goal scorers: James Coughlan, Kane Russell
Australia goal scorers: Glenn Turner, Jamie Dwyer, Trent Mitton

Black Sticks Women vs Australia
Full time: 1-1
Half time: 1-1
NZ goal scorers: Petrea Webster
Australia goal scorers: Laura Barden

*Australia win 2-1 on shoot-out. 
Shoot-out details
Stacey Michelsen [NZL] - MISS (0-0)
Emily Smith [AUS] - MISS (0-0)
Elizabeth Thompson [NZL] - MISS (0-0)
Karri McMahon [AUS] - MISS (0-0)
Samantha Charlton [NZL] - MISS (0-0)
Jodie Kenny [AUS] - GOAL (1-0 AUS)
Charlotte Harrison [NZL] - GOAL (1-1)
Mariah Williams [AUS] - GOAL (2-1 AUS)
Olivia Merry [NZL] - MISS (2-1 AUS)

Samoa Men vs Fiji Men
Full time: 11-1 (Fiji win)
Half time: 4-0 (Fiji lead)
Samoa goal scorers: Johnny Sega
Fiji goal scorers: Leevan Dutta x4, James Saqacala x2, Adrian Smith x3, Jerome Edwards, Alsace Smith

Hockey New Zealand Media release

Black Sticks men fail in bid to qualify for Rio Olympics

Murray Hills

Nick Ross and the Black Sticks have failed to qualify for the Rio Olympics. ANDY JACKSON/Fairfax NZ

Two goals in the opening six minutes have ended the New Zealand men's hockey team's dream of qualifying for the Rio Olympics in Stratford on Sunday.

The two early strikes - one by Glenn Turner and the second by Jamie Dwyer - set Australia up for a 3-2 win in the final of the Oceania Cup hockey tournament.

The loss dashed any hopes of the Black Sticks men's team had of qualifying for the Rio Olympics, given they had to win in Stratford to qualify, though there is an outside chance they could yet qualify depending on a range of scenarios at the African qualifying tournament. The Australians booked their tickets to Rio earlier in the year.

New Zealand pulled one goal back early in the second quarter when James Coughlan drilled one home from the top of the circle.

But they couldn't find the equaliser, with Trent Mitton giving Australia a two-goal buffer at 3-1. It was a cruel blow for the Kiwis who seconds earlier should have been awarded a penalty corner after the ball hit the foot of an Australian defender in the circle.

A Kane Russell goal gave the Kiwis some hope with seven minutes remaining but they couldn't find the all-important equaliser to pitch the game into a penalty shootout.

Black Sticks coach Colin Batch admitted it was a tough pill to swallow.

"It's very difficult. We didn't start well and played catchup the whole game," he said. "We showed a lot of composure to come back . . . we were well led by our captain."

Hatch said the side showed plenty of courage to fight back to trail 2-1 in the second quarter.

"Then they scored against the run of play and that hurt. Clearly we were the best side in the last quarter, but time ran out for us. We didn't get the result, but we deserve to be in Rio. The boys are hurting."

Blacks Sticks captain Simon Childs said his players gave it everything.

"We played some of our best hockey today, but Australia are a class side. Congrats to the Aussie boys, they showed us how good they are and why they are ranked No 1."

Australian captain Mark Knowles admitted it was a tough week for his side having already qualified for Rio.

"We trained hard, we trained to win. We train to put a lot of pressure on the opposition and that's what we strive to do. We always play to win."

Fiji claimed third when they beat Samoa 11-1 after leading 4-0 at halftime in the playoff match.

It was a tough week for the Samoans, crushed 37-0 by New Zealand, 36-0 by Australia and 20-0 by Fiji. But there were plenty of celebrations when the Samoa's oldest player, 35-year-old Johnny Sega scored after a penalty corner with five minutes remaining.

The Australians breezed past Samoa on Saturday winning their final pool game 36-0 with two players, veteran Jamie Dwyer and Matt Gohdes, both bagging six goals.

New Zealand finished their pool play with a comfortable 12-0 win over Fiji with Hugo Inglis and Kane Russell both finishing with hat-tricks.



Black Sticks men 12 (Kane Russell 3, Hugo Inglis 3, Ryan Archibald 2, Simon Child 2, Stephen Jenness, Nicholas Woods) Fiji 0.

Australia men 36 (Jamie Dwyer 6, Matt Gohdes 6, Trent Mitton 4, Flynn Ogilvie 3, Craig Thomas 3, Glenn Turner 3, Blake Govers 2, Aran Zalewski 2, Chris Ciriello, Matthew Dawson, Joshua Beltz, Eddie Ockenden, Joel Carroll, Timothy Deavin, Fergus Kavanagh) Samoa 0.


Playoff for third

Fiji men 11 (Leevan Dutta 4, James Saqacale 2, Adrian Smith 2, Jerome Edwards 2, Alsace Smith) Samoa 1 (Johnny Sega).


Australia men 3 (Glenn Turner, Jamie Dwyer, Trent Motton) Black Sticks (James Coughlan, Kane Russell).


Black Sticks miss Olympic spot

By David Leggat

Black Sticks captain Simon Child was left disappointed after missing out on an Olympic berth. Photo / Greg Bowker

The men's Black Sticks have missed out on qualifying for next year's Rio Olympic Games.

The world No 7 team needed to beat top-ranked Australia in the Oceania Cup final in Stratford today, but were beaten 3-2.

Australia had New Zealand reeling with goals to Glenn Turner and Jamie Dwyer inside the first six minutes.

They were faster on the ball, and slicker with their inter-passing, in that first quarter.
James Coughlan got one goal back for New Zealand after 20 minutes as the game became more evenly contested.

In the third quarter, as New Zealand were robbed by a poor umpiring decision as they sought a penalty corner, Australia raced away and Trent Mitton's goal appeared to have shut the door on New Zealand.

However the Black Sticks pressed hard in the final quarter, won a series of penalty corners, and from one of them Kane Russell drove a shot low into the Australian goal.

But the Australian defence held firm and it was the end for the Black Sticks.

''Australia cane out really well and put us under pressure early on," New Zealand captain Simon Child said. ''I know the guys gave it everything and we played some of our best hockey today."

The New Zealand Herald

Black Sticks again pay the penalty

By David Leggat

Charlotte Harrison's penalty shootout goal couldn't prevent the Black Sticks from losing. Photo / Getty

New Zealand's penalty shootout hoodoo struck again as Australia won a thrilling women's Oceania Cup title in Stratford today.

The scores were tied 1-1 at fulltime after a thrilling contest in which both teams squandered gilt-edged scoring chances.

The first five shots were saved by keepers Sally Rutherford of New Zealand and Rachel Lynch.

Jodie Kenny put Australia in front, Charlotte Harrison equalised before Mariah Williams got what proved the matchwinner and when Olivia Merry's shot was blocked by Lynch it was the Aussies in a jubilant huddle.

New Zealand have previously lost a penalty stroke decider in the 2010 Commonwealth Games final to Australia; and shootouts to the Netherlands in the 2012 Olympic semifinal and to England in the 2014 Commonwealths in Glasgow last year.

Attacker Petrea Webster put fourth-ranked New Zealand ahead in the sixth minute with a brave goal, diving forward under pressure to nudge the ball into the Australian goal.

World No 2 Australia had a bundle of penalty corners but New Zealand's stout-hearted defence held firm.

Rutherford made one superb save to deny Ashleigh Nelson from point black range and Black Sticks players Stacey Michelsen and Pippa Hayward had fine opportunities which they failed to capitalise on. Captain Anita Punt was among the best players on the field.

Both teams have already qualified for next year's Rio Olympics.

The New Zealand Herald

Sticks and Roos draw

Jodie Kenny (behind) secured the draw for Australia with four minutes left in the match. Photo / Paul Taylor

The New Zealand women's hockey side drew 2-2 with Australia yesterday and will look to get one over their transtasman rivals in today's final of the Oceania Cup in Stratford.

Australia, the world No2, snatched the draw with a Jodie Kenny goal from a penalty corner with four minutes left in the final round-robin match.

The Hockeyroos scored first with Kathryn Slattery driving into the righthand corner in the 14th minute. Kirsten Pearce equalised three minutes later with a reverse stick shot and Olivia Merry deflected from a penalty corner in the 39th minute.

Black Sticks women's head coach Mark Hager was pleased with the performance. "We should have been up by a couple more goals in the last quarter but Australia made some good saves."

It will also be a transtasman affair in the men's final after the Black Sticks and Kookaburras completed straightforward wins of 12-0 over Fiji and 36-0 over Samoa respectively.

Samoa ended pool play with a negative 93-goal differential across their three games.

Kane Russell and Hugo Inglis both scored a hat-tricks for New Zealand, while Ryan Archibald and Simon Child got doubles with Stephen Jenness and Nic Woods also netting.

The Black Sticks men must win the Oceania Cup to guarantee qualification for next year's Rio Olympics.

They last missed the Games in 2000.

Should they lose, there is a convoluted escape route. If South Africa win the Africa Cup - they have won the last six - to secure the last Games continental spot in Johannesburg tonight, their Olympic Committee are considering not sending them due to a lack of competitiveness.

New Zealand's world ranking would then gain them a Rio reprieve.

Herald on Sunday

Black Sticks women lose to Australia in Oceania Cup finals shootout

Murray Hills

Black Stick Sophie Cocks challenges Australia's Mariah Williams during their game at the Oceania Cup tournament in Stratford. CHARLOTTE CURD/FAIRFAX NZ

It was heartbreak time again for the Black Sticks women's hockey team at the Oceania Cup hockey tournament in Stratford.

Two years ago, the Blacks Sticks lost the final to the Australians after a penalty shootout.

Roll forward to 2015 and the two sides faced off again in a shootout after the scores had been locked at 1-1 at the end of normal time on Sunday.

And the result was no different this time round with the Aussies winning the shootout 2-1 to claim the cup.

The two sides missed their first four attempts, with Jodie Kenny drawing first blood for the Aussies. Charlotte Harrison gave the Kiwis some hope when she equalised. That was short lived with Mariah Williams giving her side the advantage and when Olivia Merry missed it was all over.

It was a cruel end for the Kiwis who had fought so hard over the weekend.

On Saturday, in pool play they should have beaten the Australians after creating plenty of chances. Instead, they conceded a late goal to draw 2-2.

The Black Sticks women led 2-1 after a penalty corner was deflected by Jordan Grant but they gave up their lead with five minutes remaining when they conceded their first penalty corner of the match.

The final was no different. Both sides created a number of scoring chances with the Black Sticks first to strike when Petrea Webster scored. Laura Barden levelled things up soon after and the two sides were locked at 1-1 at halftime.

It remained that way until the final whistle with Black Sticks keeper Sally Rutherford making a key diving save with 10 minutes remaining. Both sides pushed hard for the winning goal, but the two defensive lines held firm to set up the shootout.

The two teams, who have both qualified for Rio, now turn their attention to the World final in Argentina in December.


Saturday: Blacks Sticks women 2 (Kathryn Henry, Kirsten Pearce) Australia 2 (Kathryn Slattery, Jordie Kenny).

Sunday: Australia women 1 (Laura Barden) Black Sticks 1 (Petrea Webster). Shootout, Australia (Jodie Kenny, Mariah Williams) Black Sticks (Charlotte Harrison).


Archibald risks being stranded on 299

By David Leggat

Ryan Archibald leads the way at the 2012 Olympics. A win today and the Rio Olympics would be his third. Photo / Brett Phibbs

Today's Oceania Cup final is loaded with significance for the men's Black Sticks. Beat Australia and not only will they win the cup for the first time but they will qualify for the Rio Olympics next year.

Lose and it will be a serious dent in the men's game. It would be the first Games they've missed since 2000 and, in purely personal terms, will almost certainly bring an end to Ryan Archibald's stellar career.

The classy, 35-year-old midfielder today plays his 299th international in a career which began at just 17 in 1997.

The 300-game milestone doesn't mean much to him. After all, had he not missed around 70 internationals due to injury, study and work, he would be nearer 400 by now.

New Zealand, ranked seventh in the world, should have sewn up their place in the Olympic field months ago. But they lost a marathon penalty shootout to Canada at the world league in Buenos Aires in June, then the final game of that tournament to Spain.

Victory in either would have had them eyeing Rio.

"That was extremely gut-wrenching," Archibald says. "We know we're a side that internationally are really competitive and should be at major events. We know we're good enough to be there.

"It comes down to those one-off games and, for whatever reason, we didn't put Canada away in regular time. Against Spain we just couldn't quite produce it when it counted. There's definitely lessons learned and hopefully it hasn't cost us an Olympic campaign."

Archibald is steeped in hockey. His father Jeff was a member of New Zealand's most illustrious team, the 1976 Olympic gold medallists.

His grandfather Eric is still, at 96, patron of the Somerville club and "when I look at old family photos pretty much from when I could walk I had a hockey stick in my hands".

Jeff Archibald was the antithesis of the pushy parent, but was always around to offer timely advice "when he thought it was appropriate".

Ryan scored on his debut against Malaysia in Whangarei in 1997 and from there developed into one of the world's best players.

He, alone of the current squad, can remember the pain of missing out on the Sydney Olympics.

"It was a terrible experience at the time but it made myself and other guys of that era even more hungry to make qualification.

It really highlights how cut-throat it can be."

Archibald recalls winning a one-off game against Argentina to qualify for the Beijing Olympics in 2008, and scraping past Malaysia 2-1 - "a side we should have beaten comfortably" - to make the 2010 World Cup.

The game has undergone significant changes in Archibald's time. Rolling substitutions and 15-minute quarters have changed the way hockey is played and coached.

"The pace has certainly increased. It's more of a speed and power game as opposed to an endurance game.

"Technical skills have developed - the ability to play the ball off the ground has definitely changed the game a lot - but in general the basic principles are still as they were, passing and receiving skills are the core of the game."

Archibald benefited from having those essential skills drilled into him from a young age.

Having missed the 2004 Olympics, unable to recover from a broken leg suffered in a lead-up practice match, a third Games campaign would be a fine way to round off his career.

"It would be a real setback for men's hockey," he says of the prospect of defeat to the world No1 team today.

"A lot of it comes down to funding that will be missed. If you don't have funding, you can't play games, make tours and develop the talent."

Herald on Sunday

Fiji claims win

Kalesi Mele

THE national men's hockey team lost their final match of the Oceania Cup to hosts New Zealand 12-0 yesterday.

This was the second loss the national team suffered in the tournament. In their opening match, Australia's national men's hockey team, the Kookaburra's defeated Fiji 17-0.

The defeat to New Zealand means Fiji bowed out of the race to secure the last Oceania spot for the Olympic Games in Rio.

Fiji secured a feat on Thursday against Samoa by winning 20-0 and had to win against New Zealand to grab the Olympic spot.

Leevan Dutta showed his dominance on the field scoring 8 goals against the South Pacific rivals.

Adrian Smith slotted four goals with Martin Fong, Jerome Edwards and James Saqacala striking doubles.

Amenatave Veitamana and Alsace Smith scored a goal each to tally the team's final points of 20-0.

Fiji will now face Samoa for the third place.

The Fiji Times

Ireland men qualify for Rio 2016 hockey event

Ireland men confirm their place in the hockey event at Rio 2016 as Australia win Oceania Cup

The International Hockey Federation (FIH) has confirmed today that Ireland men have qualified for the hockey event at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.

It marks the first time in over 100 years since an Irish hockey team participated in an Olympic Games, with their men picking up the silver medals in the inaugural Olympic hockey event which took place in London, England in 1908.

Ireland qualified after Australia defeated New Zealand 3-2 in the Oceania Cup final which took place on Sunday 25 October.

As a result, this opened up a further qualification spot after Australia were declared Oceania continental champions, which Ireland secure as the team who ranked highest at the Hockey World League Semi-Finals not already qualified.

Ireland finished fifth at the Hockey World League Semi-Final in Antwerp, Belgium earlier this summer and become the eleventh men’s team to qualify for Rio 2016.

They join Oceania champions Australia, India who qualified as Asian Games champions, Argentina as Pan Am Games champions, Netherlands as European champions and Germany, Belgium, Great Britain, Canada and Spain through the Hockey World League Semi-Finals. Brazil men also confirmed their place at Rio 2016 after satisfying the host nation participation criteria established by IOC and FIH.

The remaining Olympic berth (men) will not be finalised until after the African Hockey Championships, which take place from 23 October to 1 November 2015. For more information about that event, click here.

Information about the Olympic qualifying process will be updated on the FIH website shortly to show Ireland men's qualification.

FIH site

Green Machine Qualify for Olympics!

The Olympics dreams of not only a team but an entire sporting community have finally come true after a 107 year wait. The Irish men's hockey team have qualified for the Rio 2016 Olympics thanks to Australia's 3-2 victory in the Oceania Cup. Australia had already qualified for Rio and as such Ireland were the next team in line to secure their spot at the Olympic Games.

The team will be the first Irish hockey team to compete at an Olympics since 1908 and the first team of any sport to represent Ireland at an Olympic Games since 1948. The Green Machine have been patiently playing the waiting game since World League in Antwerp in July where they finished with a record high of 5th place. They then made history by winning a bronze medal at the Eurohockey Championships in August to firmly cement their place amongst the best in European and world hockey.

Speaking about the historic achievement of qualifying for the Rio 2016 Olympics Coach Craig Fulton said “ Firstly commiserations to New Zealand and congratulations to Australia. We have secured our spot at Rio 2016! It probably hasn’t sunk in yet but we’re over the moon. It’s testament to what the guys have achieved this year on and off the field”.

Ireland will join Brazil, India, Germany, Canada, Spain, Belgium, Great Britain, Argentina, Netherlands, Australia and one remaining qualifier at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games (5th -21st August 2016). 

Irish Hockey Association media release

Irish men's hockey team heading to Rio 2016

They are the first Irish hockey team to qualify in more than 100 years

Image ©INPHO/Koen Suyk

The Irish men's hockey team has qualified for next summer's Olympic Games in Rio.

The qualification came after Australia's 3-2 victory against New Zealand in the Oceania Cup. Since Australia had already qualified for the Olympics, the Irish team were next in line to secure their place.

It follows Ireland finishing in 5th place at the World League in Antwerp in July, and a bronze medal at the Eurohockey Championships in August.

It's quite the achievement for the men's team, as it makes them not only the first Irish hockey team to qualify for the Games since 1908, but also the first Irish team from any sport to qualify since 1948.

Irish head coach Craig Fulton said, "firstly commiserations to New Zealand and congratulations to Australia. We have secured our spot at Rio 2016! It probably hasn’t sunk in yet but we’re over the moon.

"It’s testament to what the guys have achieved this year on and off the field,” he added.

News Talk

Greenfields African Hockey Championship 2015 Day  2

Curtailed reporting on this event is due to the inability of the retained specialist sport media company Frontiers SA to provide internet access to the media in the stadium or critical media releases and information to the media.

Kenya & Ghana win again in women’s African Hockey Championship

Ghana and South Africa men win on Day 2 of African Hockey Championships

Landslide wins for SA hockey teams

Kenya hockey team beat Zimbabwe

Leaders Univ of Birmingham in control

University of Birmingham, current leaders of the Investec Premier Division. Credit: Andy Smith

THE University of Birmingham maintained their two-point lead at the top of the Investec Women’s Hockey League Premier Division with a 3-1 win away at East Grinstead as the home side missed out on the chance to go top.

Erica Sanders scored either side of half time to give the visitors a 2-0 lead before Ruth Gordon reduced the deficit for East Grinstead with a goal three minutes from the end.

But a last-minute strike from Hannah Martin wrapped-up the match for Birmingham and kept up the league leaders’ unbeaten start to the season.

Surbiton kept up the pressure at the top with a 2-0 win at Leicester thanks to goals in each half from Jenna Woolven and Jo Hunter, leaving the home side in eighth place.

Sally Walton gave Bowdon Hightown a first-half lead at home against Holcombe, but goals from Sarah Jones and Jess Brooker turned the match on its head for Holcombe to secure a third win of the season.

Elsewhere Reading stay bottom after they lost an early lead to go down 2-1 at home to Clifton. Hannah Leigh put Reading in front after just three minutes but goals from Aileen Davis and Harriet Pearce came to Clifton’s rescue.

Buckingham are also still searching for their first win of the season following a 3-1 defeat away at Canterbury. Cara Brogan-Jones, Hannah Griggs and Susannah Townsend were on target for Canterbury and Phoebe Richards grabbed a consolation for Buckingham.

Investec Conference North

Tor Hughes scored a brace as Brooklands Poynton caused a major upset in the Investec Conference North by inflicting a first defeat of the season on Wakefield.

Hughes struck twice in the opening ten minutes to stun the leaders and although Gwen Smith and Georgia Byas scored for Wakefield, a third Brooklands goal from Jess Berry saw them win 3-2.

The University of Durham moved to within three points of Wakefield with a 3-2 win against Liverpool Sefton. Laura Bevan hit a double.

Loughborough Students stay third despite losing 3-1 to Beeston and Belper took a narrow 1-0 win over Whitely Bay and Tynemouth. In the other game, Ben Rhydding and Springfields drew 2-2.

Investec Conference West

Sutton Coldfield made the most of a slip up by Swansea to move into top spot in the Investec Conference West.

With Swansea losing 1-0 to Stourport thanks to a goal from Erin Preece, a Vikki Woolford double saw Sutton Coldfield beat Isca 2-1.

Trojans ran out 3-0 winners against the University of Bristol with Sally Gibson scoring twice.

Caro Harris hit a brace as Oxford Hawks got the better of Bristol Firebrands in a 4-3 thriller and in the other match of the day, Gloucester City beat Olton and West Warwicks 2-0.

Investec Conference East

Slough dropped their first points of the season as Wimbledon managed to hold them 1-1. Philipa Newton gave Slough an early lead but it was cancelled out by Catherine Ledesma.

At the opposite end of the table, Maidenhead are still searching for their first win and their latest defeat was a heavy one as a Hattie Sunderland hat-trick helped Harleston Magpies to a 6-0 win.

It was goals galore in the game between Hampstead and Westminster and Ipswich but Hayley Turner’s double helped Hampstead to a 5-3 win.

Cambridge City beat Chelmsford 4-1 and Sevenoaks drew 1-1 with St Albans.

Investec Women’s Hockey League (Saturday, October 24 2015):

Investec Women's Premier Division: Canterbury 3, Buckingham 1; East Grinstead 1, University of Birmingham 3; Reading 1, Clifton 2; Bowdon Hightown 1, Holcombe 2; Leicester 0, Surbiton 2.

Investec Women's Conference East: Chelmsford 1, Cambridge City 4; Hampstead and Westminster 5, Ipswich 3; Sevenoaks 1, St Albans 1; Wimbledon 1, Slough 1; Harleston Magpies 6, Maidenhead 0.

Investec Women's Conference North: Brooklands Poynton 3, Wakefield 2; University of Durham 3, Liverpool Sefton 2; Beeston 3, Loughborough Students 1; Whitley Bay and Tynemouth 0, Belper 1; Ben Rhydding 2, Springfields 2.

Investec Women's Conference West: Swansea City 0, Stourport 1; Bristol Firebrands 3, Oxford Hawks 4; Gloucester City 2, Olton and West Warwicks 0; University of Bristol 0, Trojans 3; Sutton Coldfield 2, Isca 1.

England Hockey Board Media release

PKS-KPM in dream debut

By Jugjet Singh

SPORTS Excellence Centre (PKS-KPM) lifted the Malaysian Hockey League women's title when they edged SSTMI Thunderbolts 1-0 at the National Hockey Stadium in Bukit Jalil yesterday.

It was a dream debut for PKS-KPM, as they held onto the early goal to deny a fighting Thunderbolts.

In a balanced first half, PKS-KPM took a slim lead when they perfected a penalty corner in the fifth minute.

Raja Norsharina scored only her second goal of the tournament, off a penalty corener rebound, to give her mates a slight edge over Thunderbolts.

After a much needed breather, as the haze was really choking at Bukit Jalil, the game slowed down and the score stood till the end.

PKS-KPM coach Izzwan Salleh was delighted with the win, as his team made their debut in the MHL this season.

"I can't ask for more from my girls as they won in their debut, but the final was not as easy as the other two encounters in the group stages," said Izzwan.

In the group, PKS-KPM beat Thunderbolts 3-1 and 4-0.

"We have six national players, including No 1 goalkeeper Farah Ayuni to thank for this victory, as they played leading roles in the entire tournament.

"Our funding is from UniKL (Universiti Kuala Lumpur) and I believe we will be fielding a stronger team next season," said Izzwan.

The Third-Fourth match was abandoned as Penang Juniors could not travel because many of their players were preparing for major examinations, and the bronze went to ATM Pernama.

RESULTS: Final -- Sports Excellence Centre (PKS-KPM) 1 SSTMI Thunderbolts 0.

ROLL-of-HONOUR: Fairplay: ATM Pernama (RM1,000); Best Player of Final: Raja Norsharina (PKS-KPM, RM500); Best Goalkeeper of Final: J. Priyangga  (Thunderbolts, RM500); Top Scorer: Fatin Naimah (PKS-KPM, RM500); Player of the Tournament: Nuraliana Ali (PKS-KPM, RM500).

Jugjet's World of Field Hockey

Education Ministry team win women’s hockey title

Aftar Singh

KUALA LUMPUR: It’s a dream debut for Sports Excellence Centre-Higher Education Ministry (PKS-KPT).

PKS-KPT, powered by six national players, edged Tengku Mahkota Ismail Sports School (SSTMI)-Thunderbolt 1-0 in the final of the Women’s Hockey League at the National Hockey Stadium in Bukit Jalil on Saturday.

Raja Norsharina Raja Shabuddin netted the all-important goal in the fifth minute off a penalty corner.

This is PKS-KPT’s third win over SSTMI this season, having won their league matches 4-0 and 3-1.

PKS-KPT coach Izzwan Mohd Salleh was thrilled with the win.

“This is the first time we are taking part in the league and we’ve exceptionally well to stay unbeaten in 12 matches. The win today augurs well for us,” he said

The Star of Malaysia

After court ban, Hockey India lifts ban on Gurbaj Singh

Hockey India’s athletes dispute and grievance redressal panel decided to let off Gurbaj Singh with a warning.

By Mihir Vasavda

Gurbaj Singh was banned for nine months by Hockey India.

Barely a couple of months after he was suspended, Hockey India (HI) lifted the nine-month ban on Gurbaj Singh with immediate effect on Saturday. Acting on the directives issued by the Punjab and Haryana HC, HI’s athletes dispute and grievance redressal panel decided to let off Gurbaj with a warning.

Hockey India’s decision paves the way for Gurbaj’s return to the national team but it could not be ascertained if he would be drafted into the squad immediately. The national camp begins at the Bangalore SAI centre on October 26, Monday, with selection trials for the World League final and Australia test series scheduled to be held on October 28.

Harbinder Singh, who chaired Saturday’s meeting, said Gurbaj was let off because the offence he committed was during a national camp and not an international tournament.

“The Court in its order cited an International Hockey Federation rule that such strict actions can be taken against a player only if he commits an offence during a tournament. Gurbaj’s behavioural problems were mainly during the camp. The rules right now have no provisions to impose lengthy ban on players for misconduct at camps. We have advised Hockey India to amend its laws accordingly,” Harbinder said.

He added that if any complaints are received against Gurbaj, they will consider his past record and act accordingly. Harbinder, also a member of the selection committee, refused to comment on Gurbaj’s return to the team.

But a source said the decision to include him for the World League final will be taken in consultation with coach Roelant Oltmans. But interestingly, according to the minutes of the meeting, Oltmans himself wanted Gurbaj dropped for indiscipline.

Indian Express

HI lifts ban on Gurbaj Singh post High Court order

Gurbaj Singh.

Hockey India (HI) on Saturday lifted the nine-month ban on Gurbaj Singh with immediate effect in the wake of Punjab and Haryana High Court’s order that termed the suspension of the senior player “illegal”.

The decision on Gurbaj was taken at HI’s athletes disputes and grievance addressal committee headed by former great Harbinder Singh, days after the High Court said the charges levelled against the player were not enough for the severe ban he was handed.

HI had alleged that Gurbaj created disharmony and groupism in the team and suspended him following the Hockey World League semifinals in Antwerp, Belgium. Finding the ban unfair, the midfielder sought legal action.

Sticking to its earlier stance, committee on Saturday said it is letting off Gurbaj with a warning.

“We issue Gurbaj Singh a warning that should he misconduct himself in the future, this committee shall take serious note of the same. Should any complaint be received regarding his conduct in the future, it is clarified, that his past record, including that at the London Olympics, will be taken into consideration. We sincerely hope that the members of the national team do not repeat the mistake of indiscipline and creating groupism within the team.

“In light of the above, we decide that it would be appropriate to reduce the period of ban to the period already undergone. Gurbaj Singh, with immediate effect, would be eligible to participate in all Hockey India, AHF and FIH sanctioned tournaments,” said the committee.

The Harbinder-headed panel comprised former players R.P. Singh, A.B. Subbaiah, Jasjeet Kaur and HI CEO Elena Norman.

The Hindu

FIH requests IOA to remove reference to IHF in records

NEW DELHI: In massive fillip to Hockey India, the International Hockey Federation (FIH) has requested the IOA to recognise HI as the sole governing body for the sport in the country by removing all reference to the erstwhile IHF.

"In continuation to the decision made by the Court of Arbitration for Sports (CAS) based out of Lausanne, Switzerland, on 17th September 2015, the International Hockey Federation (FIH) has now formally written a letter to the Indian Olympic Association, requesting them to remove all reference of the Indian Hockey Federation(IHF) from their records and website," the FIH said in a statement.

FIH had approved HI during its Congress in November last year as the National Association of India. This decision was later appealed by the Indian Hockey Federation in CAS, which reinstated HI as the official governing body for the sport of hockey in India.

Hockey India came into existence in the year 2009.

The Times of India

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