Hayward at the double as Kookaburras sink India again

Dead-eyed Jeremy Hayward has fired the Kookaburras to a third straight victory over India in five days at the Perth International Festival of Hockey as they continued their smooth path towards the Olympics.

One penalty stroke and an unstoppable drag flick penalty corner from the 31-year-old set-piece maestro Hayward in the come-from-behind 2-1 win was enough to seal the Australian men's overall triumph in the five-match Test program.

After defeating the talented Indian side 5-1 and 4-2 in successive days over the weekend, Wednesday's win was harder earned as the Australians found themselves 1-0 down late in the third quarter to Jugraj Singh's 41st minute drag-flick.

But Australia, who had struggled to break down a more stubborn defence after their nine goals in the previous two matches, hit back strongly when awarded a penalty stroke just three minutes later that Hayward put away expertly.

With India's discipline letting them down, the penalty-corner began to pile up and despite the brilliant goalkeeping of PR Sreejesh, who was named the player of the match, there was an inevitability as Hayward finally crashed in his 116th international goal in 222 matches from a 49th minute short corner.

The Indians must be sick of the sight of the Darwin defender, who has now scored 16 times against them in 34 matches.

"We're treating this as five individual matches and we just need to get better as a team," Hayward said post-match as the Kookaburras took their 2024 record to nine wins from 11 matches.

"We're still trying to find the best combination for Paris so it's gonna be tough. There are 27 deserving blokes right there, and we'll see how it goes. We're still building."

The Indian team is improving each match and Hayward reckons it will be no easy task to nail down a clean sweep of wins, with the next Test set for Friday when Perth local Tom Wickham is set to play his 100th international for Australia.

"I don't take any games for granted. Whether it's another Test match, or it's a game in a final against the biggest teams in the world ... it's really important and they all mean the world to me."

License this article

What is AAPNews?

For the first time, Australian Associated Press is delivering news straight to the consumer.

No ads. No spin. News straight-up.

Not only do you get to enjoy high-quality news delivered straight to your desktop or device, you do so in the knowledge you are supporting media diversity in Australia.

AAP Is Australia’s only independent newswire service, free from political and commercial influence, producing fact-based public interest journalism across a range of topics including politics, courts, sport, finance and entertainment.

What is AAPNews?
The Morning Wire

Wake up to AAPNews’ morning news bulletin delivered straight to your inbox or mobile device, bringing you up to speed with all that has happened overnight at home and abroad, as well as setting you up what the day has in store.

AAPNews Morning Wire
AAPNews Breaking News
Breaking News

Be the first to know when major breaking news happens.

Notifications will be sent to your device whenever a big story breaks, ensuring you are never in the dark when the talking points happen.

Focused Content

Enjoy the best of AAP’s specialised Topics in Focus. AAP has reporters dedicated to bringing you hard news and feature content across a range of specialised topics including Environment, Agriculture, Future Economies, Arts and Refugee Issues.

AAPNews Focussed Content
Subscription Plans

Choose the plan that best fits your needs. AAPNews offers two basic subscriptions, all billed monthly.

Once you sign up, you will have seven days to test out the service before being billed.

AAPNews Full Access Plan
Full Access
  • Enjoy all that AAPNews has to offer
  • Access to breaking news notifications and bulletins
  • Includes access to all AAPNews’ specialised topics
Join Now
AAPNews Student Access Plan
Student Access
  • Gain access via a verified student email account
  • Enjoy all the benefits of the ‘Full Access’ plan at a reduced rate
  • Subscription renews each month
Join Now
AAPNews Annual Access Plan
Annual Access
  • All the benefits of the 'Full Access' subscription at a discounted rate
  • Subscription automatically renews after 12 months
Join Now

AAPNews also offers enterprise deals for businesses so you can provide an AAPNews account for your team, organisation or customers. Click here to contact AAP to sign-up your business today.

Download the app
Download AAPNews on the App StoreDownload AAPNews on the Google Play Store