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Kookaburras make winning return

Kookaburras make winning return

Posted by Hassn Badr on

27 May 2021

Palmerston North, New Zealand

Kookaburras make winning return

There may have been 446 days since their last international but the Kookaburras resumed where they left off, defeating New Zealand 3-1 in the opening match of the Trans-Tasman Series in Palmerston North.

In what was their first match since beating Argentina on 7 March 2020, the Kookaburras’ class eventually shone out in a tight contest against the Blacksticks.

After a scoreless first half, Tim Brand gave Australia a 39th minute lead before Sean Findlay equalised for the hosts in the 54th minute to set up an intriguing finale.

But goals in the final four minutes from Trent Mitton and then Tom Wickham ensured Dylan Martin’s debut and Lachlan Sharp’s 50th Kookaburras appearance would end in style.

The Kookaburras had the better of the opening 30 minutes, forcing Blacksticks goalkeeper Leon Hayward (brother of Kookaburras defender Jeremy) into several reflex saves.

But the defences were managing to do their job at both ends as it remained goaless at the main break.

Daniel Beale was influential in midfield and his no look pass allowed Brand to capitalise and break the deadlock.

However, the Black Sticks responded when 19 year old Findlay pounced to square it up at 1-1.

With minutes ticking away to full time, a Mitton tap in and a clinical finish from Wickham sealed a 3-1 victory.

"We're just pleased to be here. It was awesome to be back on the field," said Kookaburras co-captain Eddie Ockenden post match.

"We did OK in the second half, so a good start. We've been training for a long time, so to play an international match is good. The tempo was a big step up from training which is why we're here."

Match 2 of the series is tomorrow.

Match Details

Kookaburras 3 (Brand 39’, Mitton 57’, Wickham 60’)

New Zealand 1 (Findlay 54’)

@ Massey University Turf

Kookaburras: 1.Lachlan Sharp, 4.Jake Harvie, 5.Tom Wickham, 6.Matthew Dawson, 10.Josh Beltz, 11.Eddie Ockenden (c), 12.Jake Whetton, 13.Blake Govers, 14.Dylan Martin, 15.Josh Simmonds, 22.Flynn Ogilvie, 23.Daniel Beale, 25.Trent Mitton, 29.Tim Brand, 30.Andrew Charter (gk), 32.Jeremy Hayward

Unused Substitutes: 7.Nathan Ephraums, 24.Tyler Lovell (gk)

New Zealand: 2.Oliver MacIntyre, 4.Dane Lett, 7.Nick Ross, 9.Sam Hiha, 10.Steve Edwards, 11.Jake Smith, 15.George Enersen (gk), 17.Nic Woods, 21.Kane Russell, 22.Blair Tarrant (c), 23.Dylan Thomas, 24.Sean Findlay, 25.Shea McAleese, 27.Stephen Jenness, 29.Hugo Inglis, 30.George Muir, 32.Nick Wilson, 34.Leon Hayward (gk)


Kookaburras squad for Sentinel Homes Trans-Tasman Series v New Zealand


Date of Birth


Caps (Goals)

Jacob Anderson


Mackay, QLD

23 (9)

Daniel Beale


Brisbane, QLD

178 (28)

Josh Beltz


Hobart, TAS

42 (3)

Tim Brand


Chatswood, NSW

41 (17)

Andrew Charter (gk)


Canberra, ACT

182 (0)

Tom Craig


Lane Cove, NSW

101 (29)

Matthew Dawson


Killarney Vale, NSW

141 (12)

Nathan Ephraums


Keysborough, VIC

4 (0)

Blake Govers


Wollongong, NSW

99 (85)

Jake Harvie


Dardanup, WA

71 (3)

Jeremy Hayward


Darwin, NT

157 (65)

Tim Howard


Wakerley, QLD

61 (1)

Tyler Lovell (gk)


Perth, WA

145 (0)

Dylan Martin


Wagga Wagga, NSW

1 (0)

Trent Mitton


Perth, WA

174 (80)

Eddie Ockenden


Hobart, TAS

367 (71)

Flynn Ogilvie


Wollongong, NSW

110 (21)

Lachlan Sharp


Lithgow, NSW

50 (11)

Josh Simmonds


Melbourne, VIC

20 (1)

Jake Whetton


Brisbane, QLD

204 (64)

Tom Wickham


Perth, WA

55 (25)

Aran Zalewski


Margaret River, WA

191 (25)

Sentinel Homes Trans-Tasman Series

New Zealand v Australia

Massey University Turf, Palmerston North

Thursday 27 May 2021

5.30pm (3.30pm AEST) Kookaburras v Vantage Black Sticks Men

7.30pm (5.30pm AEST) Hockeyroos v Vantage Black Sticks Women

Friday 28 May 2021

5.30pm (3.30pm AEST) Kookaburras v Vantage Black Sticks Men

7.30pm (5.30pm AEST) Hockeyroos v Vantage Black Sticks Women

Sunday 30 May 2021

1.00pm (11.00am AEST) Hockeyroos v Vantage Black Sticks Women

3.00pm (1.00pm AEST) Kookaburras v Vantage Black Sticks Men

Tuesday 1 June 2021

5.30pm (3.30pm AEST) Hockeyroos v Vantage Black Sticks Women

7.30pm (5.30pm AEST) Kookaburras v Vantage Black Sticks Men

Broadcast: LIVE on Sky Sport and the Sky Sport Next YouTube Channel.

Hockey Australia Media Contact

Nic Kerber
Media & PR Manager
Hockey Australia
+61 0 448 994 435