THE coach of Mollymook’s Kalindi Commeford and her Hockeyroos, Paul Gaudoin, expects a ‘tough’ test in the side’s next Champions Trophy match against world number one Netherlands on Tuesday night in Changzhou, China PR.
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Australia have started the tournament with two wins from two matches, 2-nil over 2016 Rio Olympic gold medallists Great Britain on Sunday and 2-1 against Champions Trophy reigning champions Argentina on Saturday.
The results mean the Hockeyroos sit second on the standings with six points, behind their next opponents the Dutch only on goal difference.
Draws in the other group matches mean the Netherlands and the Hockeyroos are four points clear of third-placed China PR, with three points in Tuesday’s game to go a long way to securing a spot in Sunday’s decider for either side.
“It’s one game at a time,” Gaudoin said.
“But it’s pleasing to get two wins from two games at the start of this tournament.
“Every game is tough – we’ve got the Netherlands next.
“We know how tough that is going to be – we’re looking forward to that contest.”
Reflecting on Sunday’s win over the British, Gaudoin admitted there was room for improvement, having raced to a 2-nil half-time lead thanks to goals from Brooke Peris and Kalindi Commerford.
“We were a bit wasteful there,” Gaudoin said.
“We want to tidy that up and hopefully we can hit a few more to make it a bit easier on our defence.”
“We’re pleased with our performance on Sunday – we weren’t great on Saturday in our second half.
“I’m very pleased we were able to play a bit better in our second half – it’s coming together slowly.
“This is a new group. We’ve got three debutants in this tournament.”
Six-time champions Australia haven’t won the Champions Trophy since 2003 but Gaudoin added that their ambition was to end that run, whilst growing their group ahead of next year’s inaugural FIH Pro League, which starts in February, and the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
“We’re trying to explore our athlete cohort,” he said.
“There’s some very good players here.
“We’re looking to do well here and win the tournament, of course.”
Australia faces the Netherlands from 5pm Tuesday.
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