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Auckland Hockey proudly host Hockey Australia Country Seniors tour games

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Auckland Hockey has proudly played host to the Hockey Australia Country Senior Womens (Wattles) and Men’s (Venom) sides on Wednesday 17th and Thursday 18th of April.

The Hockey Australia Country Senior teams are back in New Zealand for the first time since 2019 – their last tour since pre-COVID. In 2023 the teams completed a tour of Singapore and Malaysia and have been keen to re-visit their Kiwi friends.

The Australia Country teams do not ‘get together’ until they arrive on tour, so it is a challenging first few days as they get to know each other and come together as a team. After arriving in Auckland late on Tuesday afternoon the teams were on the training deck early the next day before their first tour game against our Auckland Hockey selection teams on Wednesday evening.

Both games were close hard fought encounters with the Auckland Women defeating the Wattles 2-1 and the Auckland Men and Venom recording a 2-all draw.

Australia Country Men’s Coach Wally Gaynor commented that “with almost half of the players being new to the team and its structure the result was quite encouraging and as they come together, we will see them emerge as a strong unit”.

Australia Country Assistant Coach, Tammy Hansford made the point that “had the girls been able to convert their opportunities in the first quarter they would have played with a lot more confidence and the result may have been more positive, but they played well and that confidence will grow.”

The men’s game was a high intensity game that saw both teams working hard to control the game. The 2-2 result reflected the tenacity and spirit of a game that could have gone either way. Rob Laffin, Venom coach, was impressed by ‘the way they settled as a team, played for each and fought it out to end.”

A second set of Auckland selection teams took to the turf on Thursday night. The Auckland Women’s selection had another strong showing, recording a 2-1 win. The Auckland Men’s selection faced a Venom side that were really clicking into gear, going down 4-0 in a tenacious performance.

Auckland Hockey’s James Sutherland said “it was a privilege to host the Australia Country teams, their families and supporters. We’re grateful for the experience which has provided a unique opportunity for our talented young Aucklanders to face national representative teams in our own back yard and on our new Paris 2024 Polygras surface”.

We look forward to meeting the Australia Country teams again soon and wish them well for the rest of their tour as they head off now to Rotorua where they will face New Zealand Maori and Apasifika teams on Saturday 21st and Sunday 22nd at Smallbone Park.


AKH proudly acknowledge the support of our Partners