Govers and Hayward inspire late comeback over World Number 1's Netherlands

Published Sat 17 Feb 2024

The Kookaburras have shown why they are world number one contenders with a thrilling one-goal win over the top-ranked Netherlands in Bhubaneswar, India.

Less than 24 hours after their 6-4 win over India in a ten goal epic, the Kookaburras were on a roll and ready to take on the Netherlands.

With both sides unable to be split, the Dutch came out firing, showing why they were sitting at the top of the rankings.

And early on they made it apparent. Before halftime, it seemed the Kookaburras had a mountain to climb.

Three field goals went the Netherlands way and by half time it was 0-3 and Kookaburras head coach Colin Batch was having a firm word with his side, 

But by the third, the Kookaburras found their form. 

Just as he has his entire career, Blake Govers came out with a point to prove, combing with Jeremy Hayward to strike four times by the 53rd minute.

In the fourth it appeared the Kookaburras were pulling off a miracle comeback. Relentless on attack and defence, the Netherlands suddenly had few options and tied at 4 goals a piece, the pressure was on both sides to pull it off.

As the Netherlands struck again, it felt their experience was edging Australia and the Kookaburras knew they were going to have to dig deep.

Then right in the final stages of the match, it was Tim Brand's moment to strike. Finding the back of the net with a sublime field goal, to miraculously put Australia ahead in what was shaping up to be a match for the ages.

By full-time, Australia was able to continue celebrating an unbeaten run in 2024... with an incredible come-from-behind win over the Netherlands,

Now, they'll relocate to Rourkela and face all three teams again in the FIH Pro League before returning home and continuing their Olympic preparations.

This week though, they've stood up and staked their claim - they know, they're the top team to beat.

Match Details
Netherlands: 4 (Duco Telgenkamp 6', Bijen Koen 12' & 20', Jip Janssen 56')
Kookaburras: 5 (Blake Govers 33’, 53’, Jeremy Hayward 40’ & 48', Tim Brand 60')
In Bhubaneswar, India

Kookaburras: 1. Lachlan Sharp, 2. Tom Craig, 4. Jake Harvie, 8. Johan Durst (gk), 9. Jacob Anderson, 10. Joshua Beltz, 12. Jake Whetton, 16. Tim Howard, 22. Flynn Ogilvie, 23. Daniel Beale, 32. Jeremy Hayward (c), 5. Tom Wickham, 6. Matt Dawson, 11. Eddie Ockenden, 13. Blake Govers, 15. Jayden Atkinson, 29. Tim Brand

Unused substitute: 30. Andrew Charter