Australia and New Zealand both booked their places in the Quadrangular Tournament final at the Bong Bong racecourse in New South Wales. New Zealand managed a 4 goal victory over the UK to book their place and to gain revenge for the 2007 World Cup semi final where the UK knocked them out. The pain was doubled for the UK as if they had won they would have made the final, thanks to the Australians giving South Africa a 22 goal thrashing.
New Zealand won by 17 goals to 13 in a hard fought match while the Australians eased comfortably into the final with a 31-9 victory over the South Africans. Now New Zealand and Australia will play off for 1st and 2nd places while the UK and South Africa will battle for 3rd and 4th. The UK will be desperate to win as they have yet to win a game in the tournament and will also want revenge on South Africa for the 3 goal defeat they inflicted on them in the first match of the competition.
Ironically, of all the sides it was the UK who pushed the Australians closest in their group match, going down by 8 goals, 21-13. New Zealand suffered a 14 goal defeated and then South Africa were taken apart as they went down 31-9 today. It would seem likely that the Australians will defeat New Zealand again to retain their number 1 in the world ranking. The UK will definitely slip in the rankings, they were ranked second in the world coming into the competition but they will hope that tomorrow they can beat South Africa to pick up third. The UK team felt they were slightly off the pace and made a few easy mistakes against the South Africans on Thursday, due to a lack of match practice as they have just come out of the off season in the UK. After three hard fought matches they would hope they are back up to full pace and can at least hold onto third place in the world.
Full Results of the Group Stage
Saturday 18 April 2009
Australia 31 v South Africa 9
United Kingdom 13 v New Zealand 17
Friday 17 April
New Zealand 15 v South Africa 13
Australia 21 v England 13
Thursday 16 April
Australia 25 v New Zealand 11
United Kingdom 15 v South Africa 18