Hockey: Australia leave Heberle with 'a lot of hard work'

Bill Colwill
Tuesday 24 December 2013 02:30

Australia avenged their Commonwealth Games semi-final defeat earlier this month in Manchester when they beat England 2-0 in Macau in the fourth round of matches in the women's Champions' Trophy. England are now firmly anchored at the bottom of the table of this six nations élite event.

England have now failed to score in their last 227 minutes of hockey. Australia's win yesterday gives them the opportunity to advance to Sunday's final while England can only contest the wooden spoon.

England's Australian coach, Tricia Heberle, said: "The last four games have shown us where we are and that we have a lot of hard work to do before the World Cup. Better to do it here than find out at the World Cup. We are definitely on a steep learning curve."

Although missing her two first-choice goalkeepers, Heberle has 11 of her first-choice Commonwealth Games players in Macau and while she might not have expected to have won many of the games she would have hoped to have converted more chances.

Yesterday the Australians began the game in confident fashion, with Joanne Banning opening the scoring in the 19th minute after sustained pressure and Wendy Alcorn putting them further ahead in the 31st minute. Mel Clewlow was the pick of an overworked English defence.

After today's rest day England play the Netherlands tomorrow in the last of their pool games. Yesterday, after a dream start in which they scored in the second minute, the Dutch ran out of steam and were held to a 2-2 draw by New Zealand.

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