Australia comfortably defeated their neighbours New Zealand, 27-8 in the Quadrangular Tournament final while South Africa defeated the UK by just 1 goal to hold on to their third in the world spot and heap more pain on the UK side who failed to register a win at the tournament. The UK lost 18-17, adding to the narrow defeats they suffered against the other three nations in the group stage.
The UK were ranked second in the world going into the tournament but perhaps did not have the best preparation for it, with a number of enforced changes to their squad and also coming into the competition out of their off season so a lot of their players had not played competitively for 6 months. However, ultimately nothing should be taken away from South Africa and New Zealand, who beat the UK side in their matches to climb above them in the world rankings.
Australia easily won the tournament to retain the top spot in the world rankings, winning all their group games comfortably and then easing past New Zealand in the final. Indeed, the one good point for the United Kingdom is that they actually got closest to the very strong Australian side, losing by 8 goals in the group stage, and managed to score the most goals against them, racking up 13 in the match. New Zealand lost by 14 goals in the group stage and then 19 goals in the final while South Africa suffered a 22 goal defeat in the group stage.
The tournament confirmed that Australia is still the top polocrosse nation, with the other three top sides having to content themselves with fighting for second place at present.
The UK have a chance to climb to number 3 in the world when they play South Africa in a series of test matches being held in Essex, England. The full UK ladies’ and men’s sides will play their South African counterparts in four test matches over the weekend of the 18th and 19th of July, at Ashfield Carriage Driving Centre in Essex. Given the closeness of the two matches between the countries out in Australia they promise to be very exciting encounters.
Sunday 19th of April 2009
Final: Australia 27 v New Zealand 8
3rd/ 4th Play offs: South Africa 18 v United Kingdom 17
Saturday 18th of April 2009
Australia 31 v South Africa 9
United Kingdom 13 v New Zealand 17
Friday 17th of April
New Zealand 15 v South Africa 13
Australia 21 v England 13
Thursday 16th of April
Australia 25 v New Zealand 11
United Kingdom 15 v South Africa 18