FIVE-TIME World Player of the Year Jamie Dwyer has equalled a Kookaburra’s record and scored a hat-trick to lead Australia to a 6-0 win over South Africa in their Olympic opener.
Dwyer was electrifying and showed exactly why he is regarded as a living legend and has now equalled Australia’s goal scoring record held by New Zealand women’s coach Mark Hager.
Dwyer has scored 179 goals in 278 games, Hager achieved the same in 230 matches. The Queenslander is destined to surpass the record at the London Olympics and add yet another accolade to his illustrious career.
The Kookaburras took a little while to warm up however and to South Africa’s credit it pressured the world number one team well in the first half.
Dwyer broke the dead-lock, pouncing on a rebound, after a great tomahawk from Russell Ford, earning a penalty stroke, which he nailed.
South African keeper Rassie Pieterse kept his team in the match for the rest of the half with some great saves, before Matthew Butturini finished off another brilliant run from Dwyer to see the Kookaburras to a 2-0 lead at the break.
In the second, Australia continued to lift the tempo and apart from Dwyer, who was the stand out, it was hard to pick best players because all athletes contributed to the win.
Dwyer added another penalty stroke and sent home a scrap in the circle to secure his hat-trick, before Chris Ciriello converted a penalty corner drag flick and Glenn Turner made an easy put away to round out the 6-0 win.
The Kookaburras defensive unit led by Fergus Kavanagh and Mark Knowles barely gave the South Africans a chance in attack and is looking strong for the rest of the tournament.
Dwyer’s young cousin Matt Gohdes also showed touches of brilliance and is one to watch moving forward.
The Kookaburras next match is against Spain on Wednesday, August 1 at 5.20pm
AUSTRALIA beat SOUTH AFRICA 6-0
Goals: Australia: Jamie Dwyer 3, Matthew Butturini, Chris Ciriello, Glenn Turner 1
Australia: Jamie Dwyer, Fergus Kavanagh, Mark Knowles, Matt Gohdes
South Africa: Justin Reid Ross, Goal keeper-Rassie Pieterse, Wade Paton
Hockey Australia Press Release