The Kookaburras have ended their European tour with a 3-1 victory over France in their test match in Paris.
Goals from Jeremy Hayward and Jake Whetton in the final ten minutes ensured the Kookaburras will return home on a winning note after France’s Timothee Clemente cancelled out Blake Govers’ 5th minute opener.
The match was the Kookaburras’ last international before the Oceania Cup in August and the last chance for players to impress for selection for the best-of-three series against New Zealand which doubles as Olympic qualifiers.
Following their shock 4-1 loss to France two days earlier, the Kookaburras were not going to allow a repeat of that result.
Just as he did in the first test match, Govers gave the Kookaburras an early lead when he struck from open play.
The match saw 11 penalty corners, seven of which went to the Kookaburras. The Australians could not convert from five penalty corners in the first half and they suffered a sucker punch when Clemente equalised for the home side two minutes before half time.
An arm wrestle ensued in the third quarter before the Kookaburras broke the French shackles with two last quarter goals.
Hayward converted with a trademark drag flick and then Whetton scored in the 56th minute to put the Kookaburras two goals up with four minutes left.
The Kookaburras were forced to defend two late France penalty corners, which they did with success to run out 3-1 winners.
France 1 (Clement 28’)
Kookaburras 3 (Govers 5’, Hayward 50’, Whetton 56’)
@ Saint Germain Hockey Club, Paris
Kookaburras: 1.Lachlan Sharp, 2.Tom Craig, 4.Jake Harvie, 5.Matthew Dawson, 7.Nathan Ephraums, 9.Jacob Anderson, 10.Josh Beltz, 12.Jake Whetton, 13.Blake Govers, 14.Dylan Martin, 16.Tim Howard, 20.Ky Willott, 26.James Collins, 29.Tim Brand, 32.Jeremy Hayward (c), 48.Davis Atkin, 49.Ash Thomas (gk)
Unused substitute: 30.Andrew Charter (gk)