Australia Rub Salt Into English Hockey Wounds

14 03 2010

Australia have done it again.

Just when you have written them off, they come back and destroy all hopes that you may have had before. We are talking of course about the hockey world cup which Australia won yesterday in Delhi, defeating Germany 2-1 in the final.

If you remember earlier on in the tournament, England had been sweeping all before them including beating Australia in the opening game. Sadly for us and all other English hockey fans, Germany ended their run rather brutally by beating England 4-1 in the semi’s. In the other semi Holland went down to the eventual champions meaning that Aussie sporting dominance could continue.

Interestingly, it has been Germany who have dominated recent competitions winning both the 2002 and 2006 events. Yet despite the fact that they were going for a 3rd consecutive tournament win and Australia had only won once in 1986, the Compulsive Hooker found ourselves supporting Germany for what must be the first time ever in a sporting event. This, as mentioned before, is years of pain at the hands of the Aussie cricket and rugby teams, rather than any dislike of anything Australian (in every other context we love Australians and Australia) so please forgive us if you are an Australian reading this!

Still, we have to say well done to them as at no stage did they look like losing the game, always possessing enough reserves of talent and desire to ensure that the Germans were kept out. Sadly, England also lost the bronze medal play off game against Holland, despite being 3-1 up with two more goals from star player Ashley Jackson. England’s performance has still been impressive, particularly in the early part of the tournament, and we hope that it is a mere taster of things to come. With London 2012 only 2 years away they are in good shape to build to possible Olympic glory.

Moving briefly to Pakistan, the problems that the national cricket team have are well documented, always appearing to be in a more or less constant state of implosion. It is interesting to see that the Pakistan hockey team is not immune from this self destructive mode either. Not only did they not make the semi finals, which for a 4 time competition winner is pretty terrible, but upon being knocked out the entire coaching staff and team retired. We stress the team part, as it is usual in these situations to have the coach fired or maybe even a couple of high profile retirements from fading stars, yet for the whole team to retire? We’re not sure that’s the answer…..

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