The third game of day two at the Adina Polocrossse World Cup saw the hosts take on the USA. From the start it was clear that Australia meant business and if the USA wanted to avoid a heavy defeat they would need to play well. The first chukka was pretty much one way traffic, the Australian ladies won ball, combined well and Lauren Sillitoe pumped in the goals. Megan Waggener grabbed one back from the SA but the chukka ended 7-1.
The USA men did get a lot more ball in chukka 2 aand with some good passing play and well taken goals from Braxton Hamlin they were actually leading the chukka at points. However, despite looking a bit slower than their ladies, the Australian men still managed to get in 4 goals of their own and it actually ended 4 all. The overaall score was 11-5.
Chukka 3 saw the USA ladies manage to keep the score a bit lower at 4-2 but Australia were beginning to stretch away. Chukka 4 saw the Australian men go up another gear and a 5-1 chukka meant the score was now 20-8. The Australian captain Abbott Grills in the number 1 shirt had a very good chukka, he somehow pulled in one offside pick up from about two feet behind his horse’s back legs and scored some great goals.
The Australian ladies won the fifth chukka 4-2 again but there was some good work by the USA ladies. Kat Liner had a stronger chukka at number 3 and Megan Waggener is undoubtedly a very strong goal scorer. They both pulled off some good pick ups and Megan put the ball through the posts aat all angles, including one very tight angle overarm.
The final chukka saw a lot of goals. The USA pushed Robbie Shuttles up to number 1 and the oldest man on the pitch showed he still definitely knows where the goal posts are. With Braxton Hamlin as his number 3 and Karl Balogh as his 2 they threw the ball around in a manner that their coach, the South African legend James Hackland, would have been pleased with. Australia also continued to score well, Jimmy Grills was back in the number 1 shirt and with Will Weston and Abbot Grills behind him they fired in goals up the other end. The chukka ended 5-4 to Australia and the match overall was 29-14.
Overall Australia won it pretty comfortably, though the USA men caused them more problems than was expected. However, Australia are in the semi finals while the USA now can no longer make it. However the USA have shown some good moments in their first two games and if they can improve their consistency, as they did also miss pick ups and chances, and increase their reaction speed in and around the line out then they will start to cause even more problems for other teams. It will be very interesting to see the USA take on Zimbabwe on day 3 and likewise Australia versus Zambia on day 4.