Double Dutch defeat for the Hockeyroos in India

Glenn MooreAAP
Stephanie Kershaw scored for Australia in its 3-1 defeat to the Netherlands in the FIH Pro League. (Andrew Cornaga/AAP PHOTOS)
Camera IconStephanie Kershaw scored for Australia in its 3-1 defeat to the Netherlands in the FIH Pro League. (Andrew Cornaga/AAP PHOTOS) Credit: AAP

The Hockeyroos have suffered a second successive defeat in the FIH Pro League, beaten by the Olympic champions for the second time in nine days.

Hammered 6-2 by the Netherlands earlier this month the Australians did halve the score in Rourkela, India, to 3-1.

However, having been 3-0 down after 14 minutes to a Yibbi Jansen hat-trick the tie was never much of a contest.

Jansen converted a penalty stroke in the second minute after Renee Taylor gave the ball away in the midfield and Rebecca Greiner, seeking to recover possession, made a stick tackle on Maria Verschoor.

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Jansen then converted two penalty corners with drag-flicks near the end of the first quarter.

Katrina Powell's world No.3 outfit did rally to pull a goal back five minutes into the second quarter, Stephanie Kershaw scoring via a smart deflection at a well-worked penalty corner routine.

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Kershaw then forced the Dutch to incur a yellow card, but Australia were unable to convert a pair of short corners while a player up.

Nor did they score from two later penalty corners, but on the credit side they successfully defended four and forced a last-minute yellow card.

The Dutch now haven't lost in 45 matches, have won all 12 of their league matches, and are raging favourites to defend their Olympic title in Paris late this year.

"We know going up against the Dutch is always going to be tough," Alice Arnott said..

"They put pressure on the scoreboard earlier which made it an uphill battle, but the good thing is we knew what we wanted to put out on the pitch and we did that."

Arnott will be jumping on the plane home with two player-of-the-match trophies, after having a tour to remember with a strong defensive effort, plenty of assists and a goal.

"This was a huge tournament for me, being my first tour away with the team," she added. "I wanted to see how my play fit in with the team and luckily it fit in quite well."

Australia, having won four from eight in India, are fourth in the nine-team standings. They now have a break fro competition before their league programme resumes in Antwerp, Belgium, at the end of May, with fixtures against their hosts and Argentina.

Of the trip to India Hockeyroos captain Kaitlin Nobbs said: "The biggest positives is we had a lot of young girls playing and it was really good to get lots of international experience against some really good teams, so a lot of learnings."

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