Miller set to take on Britton
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.