For the third year in a row, the Australian Country Men’s and Women’s Team have both claimed gold at the Princess Chulabhorn Cup in Bangkok, Thailand.
Since 2016, the Aussies have walked away victorious with seven members in the current Australian camp present on all three occasions including Peta Schulte (Qld), Caroline Zanussi (NSW), Taylor Miller (NSW) Mathew Brady (ADF), Trevor Southern (QLD), Alan Caldwell (Men’s Head Coach) and Roslyn Caldwell (tour director).
MEN’S GOLD MEDAL MATCH
After suffering their only loss of the tournament in the round games to the Japanese side of Integral, the Australian men were eager for redemption in the tournament’s final match.
They got off to a great start leading 3-1 at the first break, but their opposition came out firing after the first break levelling the scores 4-4 at halftime.
Both teams were unable to be separated heading into the final term, with scores locked at 6-6.
The Aussie men held an 8-6 lead midway through the fourth quarter, but with just over two minutes Integral scored to trail by one and set up a grandstand finish.
Australia held their nerve and secured the title, 8-7.
Taylor Miller and Trevor Southern were equal top goal scorers after both netting a double, capping off a memorable tournament for each player.
Australian captain Marko Draksimovic said as a group they found a way to perform and get the win.
“It’s been a great honour representing Australia in this amazing competition.
“We were constantly building our confidence and team spirit and at the end in the final match when nothing went to plan we showed a lot of heart and showed how we can fight for Australia,” he said.
WAC 8 vs Integral 7
Qtr time scores: 3-1, 1-3, 2-2, 2-1
WOMEN’S GOLD MEDAL MATCH
The Aussies took on local team CAC Thailand and flew out of the blocks early to lead 4-2 at quarter time.
But a big momentum shift in the second term saw the Aussies trail be one at halftime.
In true country style, the team rallied and worked their way back into the match, eventually holding a slim lead late in the match.
With just over two minutes remaining CAC Thailand scored to trail by one, but Country hit back with a quick goal of their own to close out the game 10-8 and remain undefeated at the tournament.
Centre back Libby Magann led the way with four goals of her own and was well supported by driver Rosie Stimson’s hat trick.
Team captain Peta Schulte was ecstatic with the result and said it was a collective effort.
“It was a tough game, but we all stuck together to our game plan and kept chipping away and we got the win and we’re pretty bloody stoked,” she said.
WAC 10 vs CAC Thailand 8
Qtr time scores: 4-2, 1-4, 2-1, 3-1