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Unstoppable Netherlands halt Hockeyroos winning run

Published Sat 10 Feb 2024

The Hockeyroos wanted a firm test to kick off their Olympic campaign in 2024 and they certainly got it.

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Facing the highest ranked side in the world, the Netherlands, for the first time in eight months, anticipation was high to see where two of the top teams in world hockey stacked up.
No team has been able to claim a win or a draw over the Netherlands so far this season and the Hockeyroos were hoping to be the first side to crack them.
On a roll and finding form themselves, Australia knew they had to come out firing and early on they did just that, as both sides engaged in a good defensive battle.
But it took just 7 minutes for the Netherlands to strike first, in what was a powerful stroke from Marijn Veen, who sent the ball straight past Hockeyroos goalkeeper Jocelyn Bartram and into the top left-hand corner of the net.
Within minutes it was Dutch delight in India, as the Netherlands seized their opportunity, breaking past solid Aussie defence and two minutes later, they had another.
Showing why they are the powerhouses of the game, suddenly, the Hockeyroos who just moments ago had momentum appeared to be on the ropes.
Another flawless strike saw the Netherlands go 3-0 up early in the second but as the clock ticked down and pressure piled on the Hockeyroos, they found a way to get back in the fight.
Set up off the penalty corner, Queensland’s Tatum Stewart, who is having a tournament to remember, delivered. With a powerful, perfectly timed, drag flick straight into the top of the net.

"It was great to celebrate with the girls, it felt good in the moment," Tatum Stewart said.
"In games like that when the scoreboard looks like it's against you, if you don't think about it then it will always feel like it's within your grasp... when it's a goal and it's just a penalty corner and a bunch of processes, then you really do feel like if you keep getting them right, it'll eventually go your way."
Yet, the Netherlands weren’t going to let Tatum Stewart’s goal inspire a comeback and they fought back in the second half scoring three more goals to rub salt in the wounds of Australia.
But as Veen celebrated a hat-trick, the Hockeyroos were determined not to let the score settle at 6-1.
Steph Kershaw, ever dangerous on the attack, made a break for it with a huge run, down half of the field before firing a lovely pass to Amy Lawton who then set Grace Stewart up for their second goal of the night.
"[Katrina Powell] spoke about it being within us and we really just had to step up and give it our all, I think that was really evident on the pitch, everyone just threw everything they had at the game."

"We probably just needed to do it a bit sooner, but it shows we have it in us to go get the win next time."
“Every time they got a goal shot opportunity they converted,” Jane Claxton said post-match.
“We’re going to have to be more clinical in our circle but they’re a great team and they showed that tonight.”
The Hockeyroos now welcome a four-day break, until the next round of matches in Rourkela, India, when they’ll look to make amends and claim back their ranking from China next Wednesday night.
In the meantime, the Kookaburras are primed and ready to kick off their international campaign, when they take on Spain in their opening FIH Pro League match on Sunday night.
All Hockeyroos and Kookaburras matches will be streamed live and FREE on 7Plus.
Match Details
Netherlands: 6 (Marijn Veen 7’ & 48’ & 49’, Matla Frédérique 9’, Jansen Yibbi 20’ & 39’)
Hockeyroos: 2 (Tatum Stewart 28’, Grace Stewart 52’)
In Bhubaneswar, India
Hockeyroos: 2. Rosie Malone, 4. Amy Lawton, 13. Hattie Shand, 14. Steph Kershaw, 15. Kaitlin Nobbs, 18. Jane Claxton, 19. Jocelyn Bartram (gk), 20. Karri Sommerville, 22. Tatum Stewart, 29. Rebecca Greiner, 52. Dayle Dolkens, 1. Claire Colwill, 5. Grace Young, 8. Maddison Brooks, 17. Lucy Sharman, 30. Grace Stewart (c)

Unused substitute: 41. Zoe Newman (gk)