World Cup 2014: Men’s Players of the Tournament.

The Rabobank Hockey World Cup was without doubt an incredible two weeks of hockey in both men’s and women’s competitions. I was fortunate enough to spend the whole competition inside the stadium watching the action and the drama unfold. Below are some of the players who caught my eye during those two weeks. These may not necessarily be those players who won awards or gained “official” recognition but they are players I personally enjoyed watching play, for a variety of reasons.

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World Cup 2014, Experts’ Predictions: The Results.

With the Rabobank World Cup 2014 all over and the return to the harsh realities of real life firmly setting in, it’s time to reflect on what was a spectacular tournament in both men’s and women’s competitions. Judging by the lack of abuse directed my way from social media; regular readers have either been too nice or forgotten that before the tournament three hardy souls and I put forward our predictions for what would happen in the competition. If you’d like to remind yourself who the brave predictors were, click here. If you’d like to find out how we did, read on. (Spoiler: Inevitably I’ve not done so well.) Continue reading

World Cup 2014 Men’s Final: Australia 6-1 Netherlands.

A stunning display from the Kookaburras destroyed the home side’s World Cup hopes as a hat-trick from Chris Ciriello helped Ric Charlesworth’s team to a superb 6-1 win.

Despite falling behind to an early strike from Jeroen Hertzberger Australia came back and were simply ruthless in front of goal. Ciriello’s strikes all came from penalty corners but there were further goals from open play by Kieran Govers, Glenn Turner and Jamie Dwyer, showing the Kookaburras’ all round dominance of the game.  Continue reading

Women’s World Cup Final: Netherlands 2-0 Australia.

The Netherlands won the Rabobank Hockey World Cup here in The Hague this afternoon with a dominant display to see off Australia by two goals to nil.

First half strikes from Maartje Paumen and Kim Lammers, on her 200th and final international appearance were enough to give the hosts the win in front of a raucous home crowd. The Dutch, who have won every game in the competition, conceding just one goal along the way showed their class despite a strong effort from the Hockeyroos who just didn’t have enough on the day. Continue reading

World Cup 2014: Men’s Semi-Final Australia 5-1 Argentina.

Ric Charlesworth’s men swept aside the challenge of Argentina to set up the dream final between Australia and the Netherlands with a powerful display of clinical penalty corners and solid defending.

A brace from Jeremy Hayward and further strikes from Kieran Govers, Jake Whetton and Chris Ciriello did the damage before Gonzalo Pelliat notched a trademark penalty corner as a consolation.  Continue reading