Australia midfielder Stephanie Kershaw reacts.
Australia midfielder Stephanie Kershaw reacts. Michael Dodge

Hockeyroos feeling medal pressure

THE Hockeyroos will enter their Commonwealth Games hockey semi-final under enormous pressure to deliver victory and a chance at a gold medal - and they can only blame themselves.

Australia faces India on Thursday night (9.15) for the right to meet either England or New Zealand in the gold medal match.

The Australians, who have won four of five gold medals in Commonwealth Games history, did not concede a goal in their previous four pool games.

With a medal opportunity on the line you would expect any side to be feeling the pressure but Hockeyroos forward Stephanie Kershaw says most of it is self-inflicted as they chase a fifth gold medal.

Stephanie Kershaw breaks clear in the Pool B match against Canada.
Stephanie Kershaw breaks clear in the Pool B match against Canada. Mark Kolbe

"We put the pressure on ourselves because we think we should be in the gold medal match and we think we should be winning that gold,” Kershaw said.

"Anything else will be disappointing ourselves.”

Kershaw missed the Rio Olympics through injury but the Townsville product said it was a dream come true to play in a home Games on the Gold Coast.

The only thing better would be to win gold, and while that job is not yet done the Hockeyroos star is confident they can progress.

India, whose shock 3-2 loss to Wales in the opening game prevented them from topping Pool A, will have to do what no other team has been able to do this Games campaign to advance: beat Hockeyroos goalkeeper Rachael Lynch.

Hockeyroos goalkeeper Rachael Lynch has been in impressive form.
Hockeyroos goalkeeper Rachael Lynch has been in impressive form. Matt Roberts

A member of the gold medal-winning Hockeyroos outfits at Delhi in 2010 and Glasgow in 2014, the 31-year-old Victorian has played more than 150 games for her country.

"She's done a really good job, she's a really experienced goalkeeper and I'm definitely happy to have her in the net behind us,” defender Edwina Bone said.

"With Rachael in the net it'll help us but we'll gave to be on our game.”


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