Bone and Hockeyroos bracing for a Commonwealth Games finals battle

ON THE BALL: Orange's Edwina Bone (left) challenges Scotland's Linda Clement during their pool game at the Commonwealth Games on Sunday. Photo: ADY KERRY

ON THE BALL: Orange's Edwina Bone (left) challenges Scotland's Linda Clement during their pool game at the Commonwealth Games on Sunday. Photo: ADY KERRY

THE Hockeyroos are surging towards Commonwealth Games gold in Glasgow, but Orange gun Edwina Bone is tipping her side’s next run of games to be infinitely tougher than the first.

Gunning for back-to-back gold medals after dominating in Dehli in 2010, the Australian women’s hockey side has swept all before it throughout the tournament’s pool stage.

With Bone pivotal in defence, the Australians defeated Malaysia 4-0 in the Games’ opener, before thumping Wales 9-0 and hosts Scotland 9-0, ahead of a tougher 3-0 victory over England.

The strikingly dominant pool stage of the Commonwealth Games has rocketed Australia to the top of Group B and a likely semi-final date with South Africa on Friday night, and Bone says the Hockeyroos and its defence will be faced with a far sterner test in Friday’s semi-final.

“Don’t jinx us, but clean sheet so far which we are pretty happy with,” Bone told the Central Western Daily from Glasgow. 

“A few close calls, and some very good defensive work from Rach Lynch in goals has helped a lot. 

“There will be a lot more pressure on us in the semi-finals against teams like South Africa and New Zealand who have a lot of fast, dangerous people in their front line.”

Bone believes keeping it simple has brought about such a strong start to the Glasgow campaign, netting 25 goals for and none against thus far.

“I think we have been playing so well because we are just sticking to the game plan,” the former Kinross Wolaroi star said.

“We aren’t too worried about who we are playing against, as long as we are doing everything in our power to execute set plays and structures we can hopefully continue to find success.” 

It’s Bone’s second major tournament with the Hockeyroos since debuting in April, 2013.

And it’s been a whirlwind 14 months.

After scoring silver at the World League Finals in June, Bone notched up her 50th international cap in her side’s win over Scotland last Sunday.

And she did it in front of her mother Zelma and boyfriend Josh.

“Very exciting and it came around very fast,” Bone said of the milestone game.

“From debuting last April to now, shows how intense our schedule has been over the past 14 months. The game was made even more special by Mum and Josh being in the crowd, they timed it very well, it was the first Commonwealth game they watched so I got to see them after the game for hugs.”

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