Two defensive lapses in the second quarter and a lack of polish in attack cost the Kookaburras dearly in Tuesday night’s first hockey Test against India in Bendigo.
India scored a 3-2 win to turn the tables on the Kookaburras after the Aussies defeated the visitors by the same score in Melbourne last week.
Kookaburras coach Paul Gaudion was left seething by the Kookaburras’ first half performance.
After a tight first quarter, India took control of the match with two goals in a minute from forward Yousaf Affan.
“We weren’t switched on, we had a lot of opportunities in the first half and we couldn’t take them,’’ Gaudion said.
“They (India) had four circle penetrations and scored two (goals). It wasn’t good enough, we weren’t switched on and we weren’t ready to play.
“Consistency at this level is what we’re chasing and that’s the challenge for a young group. We didn’t hit the mark today, the boys know that now and we need to make sure we’re up for tomorrow.”
The Kookaburras bounced back strongly in the third quarter and goals from Matthew Wills and Trent Mitton leveled the scores.
However, with 50 seconds remaining in the third term the Indians regained the lead thanks to a superbly taken penalty corner by captain Roghunath Vokkaliga.
The Kookaburras dominated possession again in the final term, but they failed to turn that possession into goals.
“(The score) triggered us into playing a little bit more aggressively (in the second half),’’ Gaudion said.
“At the end of the day our skill level and desire weren’t there.
“Stats show we should have won the match, but that doesn’t always correlate and it didn’t today.”
The Kookaburras will be looking for a more complete performance in Wednesday night’s second Test in Bendigo.
Wednesday night’s game starts at 6.30pm.