Kookaburras beat India for second straight day in Perth

The Kookaburras have maintained their strikingly impressive 2024 form by downing hockey powerhouses India for the second time in 24 hours in Perth.

But after pummelling their visitors 5-1 in the opening Test on Saturday, it proved much harder work for Aran Zalewski's men on Sunday as Australia had to fight back from a halftime deficit to prevail 4-2 at the Perth International Festival of Hockey.

On a special day for Matt Dawson, celebrating his 200th appearance for the Kookaburras, the team made it eight wins out of 10 in 2024 as they again demonstrated why they are a big chance this year of lifting their first Olympic crown since 2004.

"We've definitely been working on our mindset and know our best hockey stacks up. If we stick to the process for long enough we're going to be able to overrun teams when we play our best," said Dawson, whose six-month-old son Darcy was among the spectators on his landmark night.

"It's a bit hard to put into words, to be honest. It's an unreal experience having him here and one day I hope he will remember what I do. Mum might have to tell him one day how good dad actually was!" 

After Jeremy Hayward had put the Kookaburras ahead after six minutes, the Indians, stung by their hammering on Saturday, responded vigorously, with goals from Jugraj Singh and, just before halftime, Harmanpreet Singh giving them a 2-1 interval lead.

"We spoke at halftime that we were getting chances inside the circle and they just weren't falling for us," said Jake Whetton.

"We knew if we kept knocking down the door, one would go through, so once we got that one, the door opened for us and we were able to keep the pressure on and knock a couple more in."

Indeed, once the ever-deadly Hayward had equalised four minutes after the break with his second penalty corner strike, Australia took control with further third-quarter goals from Jacob Anderson and Nathan Ephraums.

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