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Newcastle’s Ky Willott leads Kookaburras to 3-0 win


The Kookaburras have warmed up for their trip to New Zealand with a 4-0 men’s hockey series whitewash of Malaysia in Perth.

The Australians posted a 3-0 win in the fourth and final game on Thursday, following on from earlier 3-0, 7-0 and 5-0 victories.

It means the Kookaburras piled on 18 goals for the series without conceding against the world No.11 Malaysians.

Next up for the Kookaburras is a four-match trans-Tasman series against New Zealand in Auckland starting on 10 May.

That series looms as crucial preparation heading into the Birmingham Commonwealth Games, starting on 28 July.

Newcastle attacker Ky Willott was the hero on Thursday, scoring the maiden double of his international career to help spark the win.

He was one of four debutants introduced during the series and the 21-year-old ended up playing every fixture.

“Today was a tougher match,” Willott said.

“Malaysia turned it up a notch and really tested us.

“It was nice to get on the scoresheet and all the boys got around me when the first one went in so hopefully there are plenty more to come.”

Willott struck his first international goal in the 42nd minute before repeating the dose in the last quarter.

Jeremy Hayward broke the deadlock in the 34th minute, continuing his rich vein of scoring form as he finished with five goals for the series.

Hayward’s opener created mass confusion after his powerful drag flick went in the goal and broke through the net.

Following initial confusion, the goal was given as the umpires added another layer of netting to the back of the goal.

From there the Kookaburras started to assert their authority and another penalty corner allowed Willott to capitalise on a set move to fire home his first goal for his country at senior level.

He then followed it up in the 52nd minute with a well-taken drag flick that went low and to the left of Malaysian goalkeeper Adrian Albert.

Kookaburras co-captain Aran Zalewski came in for his first match of the series after recovering from a calf injury.

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