For the first time since 1998 both the Australian Men’s and Women’s teams will be playing in Semi Final.
Day 4 of the Worlds meant 3 very important games for the Mens team. They would be playing Sweden, Netherlands, and Switzerland in the second half of round 2 for a top two position (only the top two get to play in the semis).
The first game was against Sweden who were having a great competition. The men knew their game plan and executed it perfectly. The Men scored first and set about playing a strong defence making sure they pay attention to the Swedish money shot players. After a few minutes the Aussies recovered the ball and moved to attack and scored again. The score was now 2-0 with only a few minutes to go. Again the men kept the Swedes out until a Swedish player was fouled in the zone. The Swedes converted the free shot and the score at half time was 2-1. The Aussies started the second half well and kept the offensive pressure on the Swedes. The Aussies scored again and once again defended strongly, but perhaps too strongly as the Swedes were fouled again and converted the shot. The score was now 3-2 with a few minutes to go. Once again the Aussies moved to attack and after several attacks they scored. The Men kept the Swedes away from the goal for the remainder of the match and the final score was now 4-2. The Australians were in a good position with 3 wins from 3 games. They now only needed one more win to finish top of their group and progress to the Semi-Finals on Sunday.
The next game was against Netherlands who were an old foe of the Australians (They beat Australia in the Semis at Worlds in Canada 2008). If the men won this game they would be through to the Semis and finish on top of their group. The Men started strongly winning the charge start and moving into offence. The Dutch recovered the ball after an Australian shot and tried to fast break taking a long shot which missed. The Aussies got the ball back and again attacked this time they converted the shot and scored a goal. The score was 1-0 in favour of Australia. The Dutch moved in to offence and turned the ball over to the Australians. The Men attacked and again the Dutch recovered the ball and fast broke but this time they converted the goal making the score 1-1. Both teams continued to attack and defend for the remainder of the half with the Dutch again scoring shortly before half time with the score 2-1. The Men again won the charge start in the second half and attacked but the strong Dutch zone got the ball back and attacked. After working the ball for a while the Dutch were able to get the ball to a man inside the zone and scored a great double handed shot. The score was now 3-1 with about 5 minutes to go in the game. The Aussies knew they had to win so they moved to play press to get the ball back. The Dutch kept the ball and managed to get a shot off which now meant they were 4-1 over Australia. The Aussie men were not ready to give up yet and kept attacking looking for an opportunity. An Australian player managed to get inside their zone and received the ball from a great pass. He was fouled while shooting meaning a penalty shot was awarded to Australia which was converted. The score was now 4-2. Again the Australians pressed and the Dutch turned the ball over. The Australians made a fast break and some great passing saw the ball end up in the goal. The score was now 4-3 with 30 seconds to go. The Aussies tried their best but ran out of time. The final result was 4-3 in favour of Netherlands. This meant the Australians now had to win their last game to progress.
The last game for the day was to be a big one against Switzerland. Both teams needed to win to progress but for the Swiss there was added pressure as they needed to score at least 5 goals to progress. The Aussies won the charge again but the Swiss surprised them by immediately playing press. The Swiss would play press for the remainder of the game when they were defending. The men moved the ball well but the shot clock expired and the Swiss got the ball back. The Swiss attacked and shot but hit the bar of the goal allowing the Aussies to recover the ball. This time they were ready for the press and moved the ball well until they were able to score. The score was now 1-0 in favour of Australia. For the remainder of the half the Aussies worked the ball on the press while the Swiss tried desperately to get the ball back. The Aussies survived another Swiss shot which hit the bar and at half time the score was still 1-0. In the second half the win was at the Aussie’s back and the men made the most of it. They won the charge and attacked and soon had scored another goal. The score was now 2-0 but the Swiss weren’t finished yet and were fouled in the Australian zone. They converted the goal and the score was now 2-1. The Aussies started to get a rhythm in their press and the goals started to come. They score two goals quickly taking the score to 4-2. Then another long shot was converted and the Swiss were looking at a 5-2 scoreline making their task impossible. They never gave up and kept attacking with the Australians playing a tight defence on the goalie for the remainder of the game. At the end of the game the score was 5-2 and the Australians had finished top of their group.
The Men will now play in the semi-final against the second ranked team of the other group – Germany. For the first time since 1998 both Men’s and Women’s teams were playing in Semis together. Best of luck to both teams.
|Australian Men's Team Blog|
|Australian Women's Team Blog|
Use our classifieds to find a job or promote a vacancy
Your local club can help you improve your paddling
Let us help you with the first steps
Join our Newsletter to get the latest news and info