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30 Jul 2012
London 2012 , IOC News , Hockey

Dwyer stars for Australia - London 2012 - Hockey

Australia striker Jamie Dwyer equalled his country's all-time goalscoring record with a hat-trick as the Kookaburras underlined their tag of gold medal favourites with a 6-0 win over South Africa.

The five-time world player of the year took his tally to 179 in 279 matches and although they all came from set-pieces - two penalty strokes and a short corner - the 33-year-old's influence in the overall performance was significant.

Dwyer went level with Mark Hager, who is at these Olympics as New Zealand women's coach.

He opened the scoring after 16 minutes from the spot and, after Kieran Govers hit the post from a penalty corner, crossed for Matthew Butturini to tap in just before half-time.

After the break Chris Ciriello converted a low penalty corner drag flick and within a couple of minutes Dwyer poked home from close range at a short corner.

Then, with only the goalkeeper to beat, he was brought down by Erasmus Pieterse but picked himself up to score from the spot for his hat-trick.

Glenn Turner's 62nd-minute finish was made all the more simple by the brilliant passing move which went before it - Dwyer involved again - as Australia settled for six.

The Kookaburras, who have won Hockey medals at the last five Games, had scored 10-plus goals against South Africa twice in the last four years.

They have lost just two matches at a major tournament in the last three years.

In the later game, Great Britain's men got their Olympic campaign off to a winning start with a 4-1 victory over Argentina.

Captain Barry Middleton led the way with strikes either side of half-time before Dan Fox, with his first international goal, and Richard Smith completed the job.

Even Pedro Ibarra's late penalty corner could not give Argentina a way back into the game.

Elsewhere, The Netherlands recovered from squandering a two-goal lead to just edge out eight-time Olympic Games champions India 3-2 while Republic of Korea beat New Zealand 2-0, Spain drew with Pakistan and Germany defeated Belgium.

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