Australia powered to a sensational 6-1 victory over host nation the Netherlands in the men’s final of the Rabobank Hockey World Cup 2014 in The Hague, Netherlands. Drag-flicking defender Chris Ciriello scored a hat-trick to help the Kookaburras retain the title that they won four years ago in New Delhi, India.
Following the appearance of IOC President Thomas Bach during yesterday’s women’s final, today, IOC Honorary President Count Jacque Rogge was one of 15,000 in the capacity crowd at Kyocera Stadium.
Two Kookaburras players were honoured with individual awards, with team captain Mark Knowles being named Rabobank Player of the Tournament, while Jeremy Hayward was given the Hero Junior Player award. Netherlands net-minder Jaap Stockmann was honoured as the Volvo Best Goalkeeper, while Argentina penalty corner specialist Gonzalo Peillat earned Hero Top Scorer with 10 goals.
The game brought the curtain down on an extraordinarily successful joint men’s and women’s tournament at the Kyocera Stadium, a venue that has welcomed well in excess of 2500,000 fans over 14 wonderful days of competition.
Jamie Dwyer, who as well as scoring in the final became Australia’s joint highest caps holder alongside Jay Stacy, said: “We have played really great hockey throughout the tournament, it’s the best hockey I think we have ever played. The game is getting faster and more attractive, and the Dutch played a really good game but thankfully we got the better of them.”
Australia’s sixth goal was a moment of sheer magic from five times FIH Player of the Year Jamie Dwyer, who marked his 321st international by jinxing his way along the back-line before drilling the ball into the goal.
Despite Australia’s massive advantage on the score-board, the Netherlands never gave up the challenge and came close to pulling a goal back with another Mink Van der Weerden penalty corner rocket, but again keeper Andrew Charter produced the goods to deny the prolific Dutchman.
It was a truly remarkable performance from the Kookaburras, a team that has produced the most impressive of title defences here in The Hague.
Earlier in the day, head coach Carlos Retegui made history, leading the Argentina men’s contingency to a 2-0 bronze-medal win over England just a day after Retegui earned the same status with the women. Matias Paredes scored both the goals for Los Leones, who finished eight places above ranking.
Rabobank Hockey World Cup 2014 – MEN
Silver: The Netherlands
7th: New Zealand
11th: South Africa
Rabobank Hockey World Cup 2014 Tournament Awards – Men
Rabobank Best Player: Mark Knowles, Australia
Hero Best Junior Player: Jeremy Hayward, Australia
Volvo Best Goalkeeper: Jaap Stockmann, Netherlands
Hero Top Scorer: Gonzalo Peillat, Argentina
Ten Cate Best Goal: Sebastien Dockier, Belgium
Source: FIH Media Release
Photograph: FIH/Frank Uijlenbroek (c)