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Dalefield confident of getting Intercity double

HOCKEY

Men

Indians vs Dalefield

NHS 1.15pm

Farriers Dalefield are without two of their most influential players, Dane Lett and Benedict van Woerkom, for this afternoon’s Intercity final at the National Hockey Stadium.

Lett, who was on Tuesday named in the Black Sticks team for the Paris Olympics, is at a training camp in Hawke’s Bay, and player-coach van Woerkom is in Australia for the Oceania Indoor Hockey World Cup qualifying series against Australia.

Van Woerkom is confident, though, that despite his and Lett’s absence, there is enough experience in the defending champions. The likes of Rowan Yeo, Daniel van Woerkom, Hamish Finlayson, Alex Sumenko-Bucknell and Graeme Murrell have all played integral roles in previous championship-winning sides.

“We’ve been building the last few weeks, and all the senior players are starting to stand up and perform,” van Woerkom said.

“We’ve won finals with key players missing we’ve still got an excellent team, we’ve played Indians twice this year, and we won 4–0 and lost 2–0 in the Intercity.

“The confidence is high, and it’s an opportunity to defend the title. Both teams know other well and it could turn into a bit of a dogfight as finals often do, finals aren’t often the prettiest of hockey but we’ll wait and see.”

One disappointment for Dalefield is the decision by Wellington Hockey to move the final from its original scheduled venue, Palmerston North, to Wellington, although van Woerkom believes that provides the players more motivation to win the title for the second year in a row in front of the passionate Indian supporters.

As for New Zealand’s prospects in the three-match series against Australia being played in Canberra next week for a place in February’s World Cup in Croatia, van Woerkom is optimistic.

“We have grown a lot in terms of the national team and the sport in general, and we’ve grown a lot in terms of our capability over the last two years,” he said

“We’re all good outdoor hockey players, so it’s all about refining the skills, our knowledge of structures, tactics and game plans.”

New Zealand beat their trans-Tasman neighbours in Malaysia in November, but van Woerkom expects to meet a stronger team next week, although he reckons the home side could be in for a shock.

“We’ve had four camps this year and the Aussies haven’t named their team yet and probably won’t until this weekend. They don’t know a lot about us, and we’re quietly confident.”

Women – Dalefield vs Harbour City – 10.45 am Clareville

Farriers Dalefield coach Michael Sacke is using this morning’s Intercity fifth-sixth playoff with Harbour City as a chance to experiment before the resumption of the Wellington Premier Championship next week.

Harbour City were comfortable 5–0 winners the first time the teams met in April, and Sacke intends to use a different strategy, similar to one used in the 2–0 loss to Havelock in May.

“We want to stop them playing in the middle of the field and get them out to the extremities, so we don’t want to lose the ball in the middle of the field because that’s where their two strongest players are, and they can counter from there,” Sacke said.

“We want to draw them out towards their touchlines and control them there.”

Sacke added that making the top four in the Wellington championship remains the target for the defending champions, and today’s game is an important step in the preparation for next weekend’s clash with Toa, who are fourth one place ahead of Dalefield.

Dalefield are with Amy Taylor and Charlize Baron for this morning’s game. November, but van Woerkom expects to meet a stronger team next week, although he reckons the home side could be in for a shock.

“We’ve had four camps this year and the Aussies haven’t named their team yet and probably won’t until this weekend. They don’t know a lot about us, and we’re quietly confident.”

Women – Dalefield vs Harbour City – 10.45 am Clareville

Farriers Dalefield coach Michael Sacke is using this morning’s Intercity fifth-sixth playoff with Harbour City as a chance to experiment before the resumption of the Wellington Premier Championship next week.

Harbour City were comfortable 5–0 winners the first time the teams met in April, and Sacke intends to use a different strategy, similar to one used in the 2–0 loss to Havelock in May.

“We want to stop them playing in the middle of the field and get them out to the extremities, so we don’t want to lose the ball in the middle of the field because that’s where their two strongest players are, and they can counter from there,” Sacke said.

“We want to draw them out towards their touchlines and control them there.”

Sacke added that making the top four in the Wellington championship remains the target for the defending champions, and today’s game is an important step in the preparation for next weekend’s clash with Toa, who are fourth one place ahead of Dalefield.

Dalefield are with Amy Taylor and Charlize Baron for this morning’s game. November, but van Woerkom expects to meet a stronger team next week, although he reckons the home side could be in for a shock.

“We’ve had four camps this year and the Aussies haven’t named their team yet and probably won’t until this weekend. They don’t know a lot about us, and we’re quietly confident.”

Women – Dalefield vs Harbour City – 10.45 am Clareville

Farriers Dalefield coach Michael Sacke is using this morning’s Intercity fifth-sixth playoff with Harbour City as a chance to experiment before the resumption of the Wellington Premier Championship next week.

Harbour City were comfortable 5–0 winners the first time the teams met in April, and Sacke intends to use a different strategy, similar to one used in the 2–0 loss to Havelock in May.

“We want to stop them playing in the middle of the field and get them out to the extremities, so we don’t want to lose the ball in the middle of the field because that’s where their two strongest players are, and they can counter from there,” Sacke said.

“We want to draw them out towards their touchlines and control them there.”

Sacke added that making the top four in the Wellington championship remains the target for the defending champions, and today’s game is an important step in the preparation for next weekend’s clash with Toa, who are fourth one place ahead of Dalefield.

Dalefield are with Amy Taylor and Charlize Baron for this morning’s game.

Chris Cogdale
Chris Cogdale
Chris “Coggie” Cogdale has extensive knowledge of sport in Wairarapa having covered it for more than 30 years, including radio for 28 years. He has been the sports guru at the Wairarapa Times-Age since 2019.

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