Dear World League Round 1 Hosts
It is with great pleasure to announce that we are off to a flying start and it’s all thanks to you. Round 1 is now complete having witnessed 15 memorable events, 62 teams testing their limits, 1013 players showing off their talent during 109 hard fought games – a total of 7360 hours of pure adrenaline-filled hockey!
19 teams made their first ever appearance in FIH international competition of which Portugal, Azerbaijan, Fiji men and Kazakhstan, Fiji, Czech Republic and Ghana women have made it through to Round 2. It’s truly great to see these countries coming through the ranks and making their mark on the Hockey World League.
THE national men's hockey side were given a taste of their own medicine in the Oceania Pacific Cup final yesterday. Since the tournament started last Saturday, Fiji has been thrashing its neighbouring countries Papua New Guinea, Vanuatu and the New Zealand Maori and they also managed a 3-1 victory over the Australia Country side. Yesterday, in the final of the OPC, the same Australia Country side beat Fiji 7-5 at the National Hockey Centre in Suva. (Article by Arin Kumar, Fiji Times Online 16th Dec 2012 Picture: JONE LUVENITOGA "No way through ... Timothy Eslick of Australia County shields the ball from a Fiji challenge during the men's Oceania Pacific Cup hockey final at the National Hockey Centre in Suva yesterday.")
JUDGING by their standard, the Papua New Guineans put up a five-star performance with five goals despite going down 9-5 to the Maori yesterday. The Kiwis were firm favourites going into this Oceania Pacific Cup men's bronze medal play-off at the National Hockey Centre in Suva. "We weren't expecting that five goals against New Zealand," Papua New Guinea skipper Andrew Poutan said. (Article by Arin Kumar writing in the Fiji Times Online December 16, 2012).
NATIONAL women's team coach Shaun Corrie said the historic win in the Oceania Pacific Cup and the FIH (International Hockey Federation) World League Round 1 was a testament of the hard yards the women and the coaching staff had put into the team in the past few months. (Article by Arin Kumar writing in the Fiji Times Online Dec 16 2012)
It was a double celebration for the national women's hockey side ahead of Christmas.
Yesterday, Fiji won the Oceania Pacific Cup in historic fashion at the National Hockey Centre yesterday. A day earlier, the women's team had thrashed Papua New Guinea 5-0 in the final of the FIH (International Hockey Federation) World League Round 1 to qualify for Round 2 which will be played in India next year. Fiji beat Australia Country 2-1 in the final yesterday to win their first OPC title since its introduction in 2008.
(Article by Arin Kumar writing in the Fiji Times Online. Picture: JONE LUVENITOGA "The national women's hockey side show their medals and the Oceania Pacific Cup after defeating Australia County 2-1 in the final at the National Hockey Centre in Laucala Bay, Suva yesterday.")
Defending champions Australia Country bounced back from a mid-week loss to Fiji in round-robin play of the Oceania Pacific Cup competition to show their true class against a gutsy Fijian outfit in gold medal playoff on the final day of the week-long hockey tourney in Suva.
Australia held on by the skin of their teeth to win 7-5, after a convincing first half display of precision and class as they led 5-1.
The Fijian women’s hockey team presented the host nation a Christmas present by winning the OPC final 2-1 against defending champions Australia as Cyclone Evan boars down on the country.
A jubilant Fijian coach Shaun Corrie remarked to the girls after the final hooter “this is our present to Fiji and to our families.”
Papua New Guinea men’s hockey team captain Andrew Potuan praised the fighting spirit in his side as they scored five goals against favourites New Zealand Maori in the bronze medal playoff in the Oceania Pacific Cup at the National Hockey Center in Suva.
Although the Kiwis won 9-5, Potuan was close to tears saying “my boys they got the fighting spirit, that’s what a captain wants.”
The New Zealand Maori women’s team return home from the Oceania Pacific Cup competition after a lackluster 10 nil drubbing of the Papua New Guinea side.
The PNG side looked tired and lethargic after giving their all in yesterday’s World League Round One final against Fiji.
The Fijian men’s and women’s teams are determined to give it their all in the final of the Oceania Pacific Cup at the National Hockey Center in Suva.
Australia Country is the defending champions in both the men and women’s categories.
“We invite the rest of Fiji to come and support us tomorrow, we’ll put our bodies on the line,” said Fiji men’s coach Hector Smith of the final against Australia Country.
Striker Leevan Dutta was the toast of the Fijian men’s team in the final of the FIH World League Round One final against Papua New Guinea at the National Hockey Center in Suva, Fiji.
The Suva based player who’s played competitively in Australia scored five goals to give Fiji a resounding 12 nil win against a Papua New Guinea in the gold medal playoff and earned Fiji a trip to Round Two of the World League in India in February.
Fiji finished 1st after Women’s World League Round 1 after beating Papua New Guinea by 5 goals to nil.
Samoa Women were able to win bronze in a 3rd place playoff match set by Oceania Hockey after Women’s World League Round 1. They defeated Vanuatu 2-1 in extra time.
Fiji Women were in impressive form beating Samoa 14-1 in the last game of Day 5 of competition.
Just like their male counterparts, they are set to play in the 1st-2nd World League final playoff tomorrow (Friday) as well as the OPC gold medal playoff on Saturday
Australia Country Men was expecting their last match before the playoffs against Papua New Guinea to be in the bag, but the Papua New Guinea showed that they wouldn't go down without having a say about it.
Australia Country 8 – Papua New Guinea 2
New Zealand Maori Women defeated Papua New Guinea 10-0 in the 3rd game of Day 6, the last day before the finals playoffs begin tomorrow.
On paper the match between Vanuatu men and NZ Maori would all be one-way traffic but the match proved to be much more than that. NZ Maori though winning the match with 11 goals, Vanuatu surprisingly didn't take it lying down scoring 2 of their own.
NZ Maori Men 11 – Vanuatu 2
Australia Country Women convincingly beat Vanuatu 17-0. Australia Country kept the Ni-Vans in their own half for most of the match and it was evident that the Vanuatu Women, being their first OPC tournament, have a lot to learn.
Review of all the action of Day 5 of competition
Papua New Guinea Women celebrated their second win in this tournament. In Wednesday’s last OPC and World League match PNG defeated Vanuatu 3-0. Vanuatu stays last in the pool and is still waiting for its first points in this competition.
Fiji Men celebrate a 17-2 win over Vanuatu
Fiji Men cemented their top position in World League as well as in Oceania Pacific Cup. Leaving Vanuatu no chance the tournament hosts took away a 17-2 victory. This result was the highest margin in Men’s competition this year so far.
The official opening of the Hockey World League Series in Suva last night had its memorable side events and one of it was the presentation of a medal and a set of pictures from yester- years to Fiji Hockey Federation president Dr Robin Mitchell by the president of the Federation of International Hockey- Leandro Negre.
The explanation goes like this, the Adelaide University Hockey Club held their Centenary celebrations on the 9th June 2012 in Adelaide, South Australia.
Fiji Women remain unbeaten in this competition. In Wednesday’s top match the host nation celebrated a 3-1 win after penalties against Australia Country.
The official opening of the Hockey World League series Round One held at the Oceania Center at the University of the South Pacific in Suva was full of pomp, colour, entertainment and lots of food and drinks.
The visiting teams, technical officials, International and Oceania Hockey Federation officials were traditionally welcomed with a ‘yaqona’ ceremony before the president of Fiji Hockey Dr Robin Mitchell welcomed the visitors and called on the International president Leandro Negre to address the gathering.
The visitors welcome and thanked the hosts for a splendid evening.
And as the words of the prayer to bless the food, players and officials were reminded that despite the rivalry on the pitch there was a lot of room for friendship during the weeklong tournament.
Samoa met Australia Country in the next Women’s OPC match. Samoa went down 6-0 to Australia Country.
Sunshine and clear skies greeted the beginning of match day 5, perfect setting for a crucial match for the Men’s division between NZ Maori and Australia Country. Both teams were trying to keep their hopes alive for an OPC gold medal playoff.
Australia Country took an early lead, with a 4-1 lead at half-time.
In the second-half it seemed the New Zealand Maori were going to make a surprise upset, decreasing the points difference, 4-3. But a few lapses in defence by the New Zealanders saw the Aussies taking the match 7-4.
Fiji Times Editorial Wed 12 December 2012:
The national men's team defeated hot favourites Australia Country 3-1 yesterday and effectively lifted our campaign at the National Hockey Centre.
The victory in a round of the Oceania Pacific Cup and FIH World League fixture has placed us on a very high pedestal. Jubilant national coach Hector Smith revealed losing was not an option when Fiji took on the might of Australia. They went in determined to win and win they did......
The Papua New Guinea women’s side believes the Hockey World League is a good learning ground for them.
The side lost to Australian Country 7-0 and 12-0 to Fiji. However, coach Manoa Pokiap believes his girls have learned a lot from the two matches. “This is our third year of coming to this tournament and it has been a good breeding ground for many of our girls,” he said. “Despite losing, we are learning many hockey skills and this is a good development ground for many of us. (Article by Siteri Navutovuto Fiji Sun Online 12 Dec 2012; PHOTO: NAVNEET NARAYAN "Maxine Browne (right), looks for a way past the Papua New Guinea team’s defence during the Hockey World League at the National Hockey Centre in Suva yesterday.")
BAD weather failed to dampen the spirits of the New Zealand Maori men's team as they stormed to a 7-2 win over Papua New Guinea to make up for the penalty strokes loss to Fiji on Monday. A brace of goals to Owen Mitai-Wells, David Kosoof and Leo Mitai-Wells gave the Kiwis a flying start as they led 4-0 at the break. However, heavy downpour and strong winds held up play for half an hour before the teams came back onto the field for the second half of this FIH World League/Oceania Pacific Cup match at the National Hockey Centre. (Article by Manoj Kumar, Fiji Times Online 12th Dec)
Australia Country women's team is yet to concede a goal in the FIH World League/Oceania Pacific Cup competition. Having beaten the New Zealand Maori side 3-0 on Saturday and thrashing Papua New Guinea 7-0 on Sunday, the Aussies returned a lot fresher and fitter yesterday to rip apart sluggish Samoa 12-0 at the National Hockey Centre. (Article by Manoj Kumar writing in the Fiji Times Online Dec 12th 2012)
THE New Zealand Maori women's team shrugged aside the 0-1 upset loss to Fiji on Monday to smash Vanuatu 16-0 in the FIH World League/Oceania Pacific Cup Tournament. In a one-sided tie, the Kiwis enjoyed possession and territorial advantage to outsmart the opposition.
Carla Burt was outstanding for the Maori scoring four goals.....
(Article by Manoj Kumar, Fiji Times Online 12th Dec 2012).
The Samsung Fiji men’s hockey team continued its unbeaten run in the third day of the Hockey World League after they upset Australian Country side 3- 1 on a penalty stroke shootout yesterday. The determined Fijians proved to be a much-stronger side as they played on a wet turf at the National Hockey Centre. Terrence Corrie was again up to his best as he scored the first goal in the 26th minute of the game. The Australians lone goal was scored by Joshua Gregory in the 53rd minute. (Article by Siteri Navutovuto in the Fiji Sun Online 12th Dec; PHOTO: Navneet Narayan. "The Samsung Fiji men’s hockey team during the Hockey World League at the National Hockey Centre in Suva yesterday.
THEY went in determined to win and win they did.
Losing was not an option," a jubilant coach Hector Smith revealed yesterday after the Fiji men's team stunned favourites Australia Country 3-1 at the National Hockey Centre in Laucala. That's what he had told his men going into this crucial Oceania Pacific Cup and FIH World League fixture.
(Article by Manoj Kumar writing in the Fiji Times Online 12th Dec; PICTURE: Jone Luvenitoga "Fiji's Tevita King tests the Australia Country defence in their first encounter yesterday).
The Oceania Hockey Federation is pleased with the media coverage given to the weeklong Hockey World League Series Round One being held at the National Hockey Center in Suva.
Federation of International Hockey president Leandro Negre and Oceania president Pam Elgar have both praised the Fijian media for covering the competition.
The Fiji women’s hockey team finished strongly to out muscle a determined Papua New Guinea team 12-0 and stay on course for a berth in the Fiji World League Medal playoff on Friday.
After watching the Fiji men’s team score an upset victory over favourites Australian Country in the earlier match, the Fijian women were not going to let the vocal local crowd leave the National Hockey Center disappointed.
The crowd was in for another thrilling, fast-paced match when the Australian Country Men took on Fiji Men.
This match just like the Fiji Men’s match yesterday against NZ Maori, went down to the wire, both teams locked 1-all at full-time. The game was decided through penalty strokes.
Fulltime: Australian Country 1 – Fiji 1. Penalty Strokes: Australian Country 1 – Fiji 3
The match between Samoa Women and Australian Country was another one-sided match today.
Samoa Women managed to hold their own at first trailing by only 2 goals at half-time. But in the second half the Australian Country Women hit their stride racking up a total of 12 points.
Australian Country Women 12 – Samoa Women 0
PNG Men had to face off with New Zealand Maori Men in the 2nd match of Day 4.
From the beginning of the match New Zealand took a commanding lead successfully scoring 4 goals before the break.
Just as players were heading into the tunnel a tempestuous storm hit which threatened to cancel any further play.
However the rain did let up enough for the game to resume, and despite PNG being able to run in 2 goals of their own, NZ Maori Men were too good, running away with the victory.
NZ Maori Men 7 - PNG Men 2
The prize for best picture on Day 1 and 2 of the Hockey World League Series Round One in Suva was given by Oceania National Olympic Committee (ONOC) and Fiji Hockey president Dr Robin Mitchell at the National Hockey Center.
The first day’s winner was Fiji Times photographer- Jonacani Lalakobau and day two winner was freelancer- Kirk Corrie.
They each received fifty dollars each.
The best picture will be sent to the Federation of International Hockey and also entered for the Fiji Sports Award next month.
Day 4 began with the Women of Vanuatu taking on the NZ Maori Women. It was a one-sided affair as the NZ Maori were too good for the Vanuatu team managing to score 9 goals by half time, the Ni-Vans not able to offer any reply of their own.
The New Zealanders went on to score 7 more goals to win the match 16-0.
THE Fiji men's and women's hockey side stunned New Zealand Maori yesterday to keep them on track for the Oceania Hockey Cup and the International Hockey Federation (FIH) World League round one titles. In a scintillating tussle between the two men's side, the Hector Smith Sr-coached Fiji defeated NZ Maori 5-4 via penalty strokes after the two teams were locked 4-4 at full-time. In the women's competition, Fiji's Ateca Fatufago scored in the 18th minute to upset the highly-fancied opponents 1-0 at the National Hockey Centre in Laucala. (Article by Manoj Kumar and Rashneel Kumar writing in the Fiji Times Online 11 Dec 2012. PHOTO: Fiji's Adrian Smith, left, on attack against the New Zealand Maori during the FIH World League Oceania Hockey Cup competition at the National Hockey Centre in Laucala, Suva yesterday. Picture: JONACANI LALAKOBAU)
Fiji 5, New Zealand Maori 4 (penalty shootout)
The Fijian men’s team was not going to let the New Zealand Maoris go unchallenged in the traditional ‘haka’ as the locals performed their version of the Fijian ‘cibi’ simultaneously that had the crowd cheering for both teams.
This set the stage for what was to unfold in a high scoring and entertaining match.
By the beginning of the 3rd match of Day 3 between Samoa Women and Vanuatu Women, the heavens had opened up and it began to rain cats and dogs. The turf was inundated with water and the match was delayed when officials deemed the turf unfit for play.
Play got underway as soon as the rain abated a little and it proved to be a thrilling match to watch. It became a question of who could adapt best to the wet conditions.
Samoa 4 - Vanuatu 1
2nd Men’s World League match which was played between Vanuatu and Papua New Guinea.
It was a tightly contested match with both teams looking for their first win of their respective campaigns.
But Papua New Guinea played with a bit more edge having lost their first World League match to Fiji yesterday 7-0.
They managed to come up with an emphatic win.
Papua New Guinea 1 - Vanuatu 0
3rd Day of competition began with women’s match between Fiji and the New Zealand Maori.
Due to a bit of rain the turf was in tip-top condition for some good hockey.
NZ Maori Women were out to notch their first win of the Oceania Cup. Tiredness began to seep in during the second half especially for the Fiji Team who had played against the Vanuatu team yesterday afternoon. But despite the New Zealanders’ best efforts the Fiji team managed to score the only goal, holding out till the full time siren to win the match 1-0.
Newcomers Vanuatu women taught the Hockey World League Series Pacific Round One favourites Fiji not to rest on their laurels when their tails are up.
The Fijian side was 15 nil up when they let their guard down and allowed Vanuatu to score a classic lone goal against the run of play.
The Vanuatu men’s hockey team played a gutsy game to restrict the much fancied Australian Country side to only three second half goals.
The Aussies eventually won 9-1.
Vanuatu coach/player Peter Robinson had a lot of praise for his side.
“We arrived just half hour before the game and played well against Australia. We even scored one against Australian Country,” said Robinson.
Four goals from Leevan Dutta helped the national men's side thrash Papua New Guinea 7-0 in their first match of the FIH (International Hockey Federation) World League Round 1 and Oceania Pacific Cup yesterday.
The result means Fiji is on track to qualify for the second round of the world league that will be held in India next year.
To cement their position, Fiji will need to beat Vanuatu on Wednesday at the National Hockey Centre in Laucala Bay, Suva. (Article by Arin Kumar writing in the Fiji Times Online, Dec 10 2012; PHOTO: The Fiji men's hockey team after defeating PNG 7-nil during the World Hockey League in Suva, yesterday. Picture: Eliki Nukutabu)
Fiji Men secure their first win in their opening match against Papua New Guinea under the early morning humidity at the National Hockey Centre.
The Hector Smith Senior coached team will expect a strong challenge from rivals
Papua New Guinea.....
In today's opening match Pacific rivals Papua New Guinea men meet Fiji under spectacular sunny Suva weather conditions....
New Zealand Maoris aim for a successful tourney at the Hockey World League round one which starts at the National Hockey Centre today.
The Kiwis missed out in the Oceania Hockey competition last year and did not defend their title since most of their men’s team represented New Zealand at the Champions Trophy where the top six teams in the world compete.
NZ Maori head coach Kahu Ripia confirms his team is here for a mission.
(Article by Anasilina Ratuva Fiji Sun Online 8th Dec 2012) PHOTO: Navneet Narayan "The New Zealand Maoris women’s team training at the National Hockey Centre in Suva yesterday
THE New Zealand Maori Hockey team intends to win the FIH (International Hockey Federation) World League Round 1 and Oceania Pacific Cup (OPC) even though this is their first time in the competition. The Oceania Hockey Federation opted to invite the Maori hockey side rather than the New Zealand Barbarians who were the defending champions of the OPC. Council chairman Kahu Ripia said the Maori Hockey men's and women's side were looking forward to taking both titles back to the Land of the Long White Clouds.
(Article by Arin Kumar writing in the Fiji Times Online 8th Dec 2012)
THE Samoan women's hockey side is optimistic of a better finish in the Oceania Pacific Cup compared to last year.
The OPC starts today and is also part of the FIH (International Hockey Federation) World League Round 1. Samoa finished last year's competition with one draw and three losses. Team captain Peta Mualia-Teo said they were still in the development stages of the sport but were confident of their chances this week.
(Article by Arin Kumar, Fiji Times Online99 Dec 8)
Review of Day One action of The Oceania Cup 2012 and Round One of the World League.
The first match of the much anticipated World League was between Papua New Guinea Women and Samoa Women.
The teams were evenly matched with both sides not being able to capitalize on opportunities to produce goals.
The score was nil all at full time, which led to penalty strokes which Papua New Guinea won 3-0.
Fulltime score: Samoa 0 – PNG 0. Penalty Strokes: Samoa 0 – PNG 3
Heavy rain couldn’t dampen a spirited performance by both the NZ Maori Men and the Fiji President’s XI team in the first Men’s match of the tournament
NZ Maori Men were thoroughly tested by the Fiji President’s side. New Zealand took an early lead in the first half but lost their lead when the Fiji President’s hit back with 2 goals of their own. But in the dying stages of the game, led by coach and former Olympian, David Kosoof, NZ Maori Men were able to pull back 2 goals to win the match.
NZ Maori Men 3- Fiji President’s XI 2
First day of the Oceania Cup got off to an electrifying start with the Australian Country Women taking on the New Zealand Maori Women.
Under sweltering heat the Australian Country side was able to come away with an impressive win.
Australian Country 3 NZ Maori 0
Less than a week to go!
Preparations are on track as teams will start arriving in Suva early this week.
In line with the tournament motto "Make Your Mark", over 50 volunteers will be making theirs over the next two weeks as they endeavour to deliver a memorable event.
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