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Kookaburras defeat Black Sticks 3-1

AAP logoAAP 24/11/2016

The Kookaburras have defeated the Black Sticks 3-1 on day two of the International Festival of Hockey in Melbourne with a golden double from Kieran Govers and a goal from Aaron Kleinschmidt.

The Kookaburras are engaged in a four-nations competition with India, Malaysia, and New Zealand while the Hockeyroos are taking part in a three-game test against India.

Six minutes into Thursday's game and New Zealand were a chance with a breakaway sprint down to their circle but Australian goalkeeper Tyler Lovell knocked the ball away and within seconds it was down in the Australian circle.

Making the most of the opportunity Jake Whetton took a shot on goal, and the hit on a deflection was tapped in by returning Kookaburra Kieran Govers.

Only a minute later and Govers scored his second field goal from a deflection off the post, giving the Kookaburras an early 2-nil lead.

In the final minute of quarter one Australia went for it with a couple of quick passes leaving Aaron Kleinschmidt undefended at the right of the net and free to flick the ball in to goal past New Zealand keeper Richard Joyce.

The Black Sticks forced a penalty corner in the first minute of the second quarter in an attempt to fight back against the Kookaburras but Tyler Lovell and the Kookaburras were too quick for the Black Sticks and the ball was knocked out of danger.

With four minutes to go in the third quarter the Black Sticks broke their drought with Kane Russell using a powerful drag flick to sink the ball into the Australian goal.

Kookaburras interim head coach Paul Gaudoin said New Zealand started well but Australia fought back at the end of the first quarter and into the second.

"We lost our way a little bit after half time, and maybe relaxed which let them back into the game. We need to make sure that against Malaysia we get 60 minutes of quality play, not perhaps 35 minutes."

Also on Thursday India defeated Malaysia 4-2.

The festival continues on Friday with the Hockeyroos playing India's women's side, while on Saturday the Kookaburras play Malaysia and the Black Sticks play India.

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