So this is it: the Commonwealth Games gold medal game between Australia’s Kookaburras and New Zealand’s Blacksticks, on the Gold Coast. Join The Roar for live scores and blog from 9:15pm AEST.
Australia will look to defend their way to the Gold medal, given that they’ve only conceded three goals so far.
It’s characteristic of the best teams this Games, that the good ones tend to hold onto the ball, particularly in the first couple of quarters.
Both sides have had plenty of the pill, in their earlier matches, strangling lesser teams out of the equation, but it’s a different story against each other.
Australia and New Zealand came first and second in their pool, as both India and England fell to them in the semis.
In the pool game, the Kookaburras got home, but only just, as New Zealand looked to knock them over, scoring a late goal to give Australia a scare, and will look replicate the women’s great win over Australia.
Early scoring could be the key, as the Aussies poured on a total of seven goals in the first quarters of two of their games.
New Zealand really looked to shut down Mark Knowles, during the pool game, with him being the danger man for the men in green and gold.
Penalty Corners are crucial in this sport, and limiting your own defensive ones can be critical to winning or losing.
Over this tournament, teams have played defensively against both Australian sides, which can work, but crowding the circle is very linked to discipline; as I’ve said before, the more players in the circle, the more foot-related penalties can be given.
Expect Australia not to butcher both Gold Medal games, and look for the Kookaburras to beat New Zealand.
Australia 3-1 New Zealand.
Join The Roar for live scores and blog starting from 9:15pm AEST.