Kookaburras thrash England 8-1 to claim World Cup bronze medal

Bhubaneshwar: Australia have consoled themselves after their 2018 Hockey World Cup semi-final loss by thrashing England 8-1 in India to take home the bronze.

In the gold medal game, Belgium won a tense penalty shootout 3-2 against three-times champions Netherlands to take home their first men's title.

The Kookaburras overcame a disappointing semi-final loss to the Netherlands on Saturday (pictured) to beat England in the bronze medal playoff on Sunday.Credit:AP

Tom Craig netted a hat-trick in a victory that ensured the Kookaburras a podium finish in Bhubaneshwar after the Australians had been beaten by the Netherlands a day ealier in a semi-final shootout.

Teammate Jeremy Howard grabbed a brace with Blake Glovers, Trent Mitton and Tim Brand also getting their names on the scoresheet.

England veteran Barry Middleton grabbed a consolation goal when the match was already beyond doubt.

The Kookaburras dominated with 58 per cent possession and led 20-12 on circle penetrations, 12-9 on shots and 5-3 on penalty corners.

Australia's fifth World Cup bronze, and first since 1994, provides some solace after they lost 4-3 in a penalty shootout with the Netherlands in the semi-finals on Sunday.

Belgian players celebrate their win over Netherlands in the gold medal game at the Men’s Hockey World Cup at Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneswar, India on Sunday.Credit:AP

Craig says the team were determined to finish strongly after the heartbreaking loss ended their quest for a third consecutive world title.

"Losing yesterday was hard but we don't do it because it's easy," he said. "We wanted to bring a good game plan with energy. I thought we brought that. We wanted to bring it throughout every quarter. I thought we did that."

The Kookaburras start proceedings early with Craig stealing in the midfield before Govers fired in a reverse stick finish in the eighth minute.

A minute later Craig doubled the advantage by poking in Tim Brand's cutback.

Just after his own keeper Tyler Lovell saved an effort from England's Liam Ansell, Craig added a second after passes from Jake Harvie and Govers in the 19th minute.

Govers also hit the post nine minutes later with dominant Kookaburras up 3-0 at halftime.

Australia ran rampant after the break with Trent Mitton grabbing his first goal of tournament in the 32nd minute before setting up Brand two minutes later.

Craig completed his hat-trick in the 35th minute to put the Kookaburras up 6-0.

England's Middleton then clawed back a far post finish on three-quarter time.

But Australia showed no pity for their northern hemisphere opponents, who had been beaten 6-0 by Belgium only one day earlier to end their dream of reaching their first final in 32 years.

Hayward beat England keeper Harry Gibson in the 57th minute before adding a second off a short corner just three minutes later for the Kookaburras to end 8-1 winners.

Australia are next in action in the inaugural FIH Pro League on February 2 against the Netherlands in Melbourne.


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