Govers powers Kookas to third Games win

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Murray Wenzel / AAP News

Blake Govers has flexed for the Kookaburras to maintain Australia’s perfect Birmingham Games record with a 3-0 win over South Africa.

Blake Govers has flexed for the Kookaburras to maintain Australia’s perfect Birmingham Games record with a 3-0 win over South Africa.

The penalty corner specialist, sporting a freshly-cut mullet, iced Wednesday night’s result with a rocketing drag flick that arched into the top right corner in the final quarter.

Earlier his sweetly struck backstick from a tight angle beat the goalkeeper, Govers likely surprised to see captain Aran Zalewski credited for the goal after he was deemed to have touched the ball as it crossed the line.

Jake Whetton opened the scoring and, at 2-0 after just eight minutes, it looked like the Tokyo Olympics silver medallists were set for a big night.

But some scrambling defence and the woodwork – Australia hit the post three times – meant a relatively kind scoreline ahead of Colin Batch’s side’s final group game against Pakistan on Thursday night.

Pakistan have one win, one draw and a loss from their pool games, while Indi a lead England on goal difference in the opposing pool with one game remaining.

Zalewski admitted Pakistan presented a relatively unknown quantity and that in a wide-open race for second spot behind them in their pool “they’ll be coming out trying to prove a point”.

Australia’s men have won all six Commonwealth Games golds since hockey’s introduction in 1998.

“I love looking up and seeing the yellow, green and gold up in the stands,” Whetton said.

“We’re a big family, everyone knows everyone’s families, brothers, sisters, partners, so it’s great being a part of that and seeing so many people here to support the Kookaburras after a pretty tough few years (with no hockey or crowds due to COVID-19).”

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