Miller set to take on Brit­ton

Sunday Tasmanian - - SPORT - ADAM CLIF­FORD AMANDA LULHAM

THE Tassie Tigers ran riot in front of a bois­ter­ous home crowd to thrash the Can­berra Lak­ers 5-1 in the Aus­tralian Hockey League last night.

The Tigers — in­spired by Kook­abur­ras co-cap­tain Ed­die Ock­enden — led 3-0 at quar­ter time and never looked threat­ened in front of 3000 fans.

Coach Glenn Free­man was de­lighted to start the new cam­paign with a com­fort­able win and said his play­ers were mo­ti­vated to per­form for the crowd.

“We had a re­ally even spread of con­trib­u­tors tonight, but Ed­die was just a class above with what he can do on the pitch and it was as if he re­ally wanted to en­ter­tain the home crowd,” Free­man said.

“We hadn’t played an AHL match for points since 2011 and tonight showed the guys re­ally en­joy it. And the turnout shows what a great prod­uct the AHL is.”

The Tigers had a half chance spill to Sam McCam­bridge and Kurt Mackey in the open­ing minute and the fans didn’t have to wait long for the opener.

Debu­tant Oliver Smith was gifted pos­ses­sion and sent a per­fectly weighted pass on to the run of Ock­enden who made no mis­take against Kook­abur­ras goal­keeper An­drew Char­ter.

Un­der the new rules, Ock­enden then dou­bled the Tigers ad­van­tage with a con­ver­sion goal be­fore team­mate Kieron Arthur made it 3-0 on half­time with a penalty-cor­ner flick.

Tas­ma­nia con­tin­ued to threaten, with Jack Welch weav­ing through de­fend­ers at will, but it wasn’t un­til McCam­bridge knocked home in the 42nd minute and com­pleted his con­ver­sion that the re­sult was sealed at 5-0.

The Tigers wasted the re­main­ing seven penalty-cor­ner op­por­tu­ni­ties, while the Lak­ers scored a late con­so­la­tion goal from their third set piece.

Tas­ma­nia next faces the New South Wales Waratahs — who fell 4-6 to the Queens­land Blades in Syd­ney — next Sun­day but will be with­out some stars.

“Our Kook­abur­ras, Ock­enden, Ed­wards and Beltz, will be un­avail­able, so we’ll have a look at what our needs are out of this match,” Free­man said.

“But, given how tough se­lec­tion was for this Round 1, we know who­ever comes in can do the job.” IT started with blurred vi­sion. Then iron­woman Ge­or­gia Miller be­gan to sweat be­fore a wave of goose­bumps cov­ered her body.

Shiv­er­ing, the surf star strug­gled to lift her legs, make them work at all, as she en­dured the worst pain of her life in the fi­nal two kilo­me­tres of the run of last year’s Coolan­gatta Gold.

“I had hit a to­tal wall and it came out of nowhere,’’ Miller said.

“I was just will­ing my body to go on.”

A year on and now armed with bet­ter train­ing and nutritional in­for­ma­tion, Miller is among of the favourites, along with Tas­ma­nia’s Al­lie Brit­ton, for the 41.8km race on the Gold Coast to­day.

The Coolan­gatta Gold in­volves a 23km ski, 2.1km run, 3.5km swim, 6.1km board and a 7.1km run.

Ali Day is favourite to claim a record sixth Coolan­gatta Gold win in the men’s field.

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