Steve Jancetic / AAP News
Image: AAP Photos
The Hockeyroos begin the side’s Birmingham mission with a convincing over Kenya.
Australia flexed a little early muscle to get their quest for women’s hockey gold off to a flying start with a 8-0 rout of Kenya at the Commonwealth Games.
So dominant were the Hockeyroos that Kenya failed to have a single shot on goal, which was in stark contrast to the Australian outfit’s relentless bombardment.
The Aussies are desperate to regain their Commonwealth crown, having lost the gold medal match on the Gold Coast in 2018 to New Zealand after a run of three successive Commonwealth triumphs.
Skipper Kaitlin Nobbs finished with a hat-trick while Shanea Tonkin had two goals, with Claire Colwill, Stephanie Kershaw and Grace Stewart the other goal scorers.
The world No.3 Australians wasted little time in putting their foot down, Nobbs capitalising after being left unmarked in front goal inside the opening three minutes.
Their lead was doubled less than a minute later when a scorching Maddy Fitzpatrick cross from the sideline was deftly guided past the keeper for Tonkin’s first goal.
Hobbs converted on a penalty stroke, and it was 4-0 at the first break when Kershaw found the net after two brilliant saves from the Kenya keeper.
Kenya solidified their defence through the middle after the first period, but costly turnovers continued to propel the Australian attack.
While they managed to add three more goals, the defeat could have been far heavier had it not been for the heroics of Kenya’s keepers, who managed to repel 12 shots throughout the match.
The crowd was desperate for the Kenyans to mount something in attack, a roar rising whenever they got near the Australian goal, but it never materialised into a serious threat.