Kookaburras are on target

TASMANIA'S Kookaburras are finding plenty to smile about at the hockey world cup in the Netherlands.

Launceston's Tim Deavin and Hobart's Eddie Ockenden have both been goal-scorers and important contributors as the national team swept through the group stage with a 100 per cent record.

In a tournament second only to the Olympics in importance, Ric Charlesworth's team has beaten Malaysia, Belgium, Spain, England and finished with a 4-0 rout of India on Monday night.

In the process it  has  scored 19 goals and conceded just one.

Topping their group with a maximum 15 points in The Hague, the Kookaburras head into Friday's semi-final against the second-placed team from group B being dominated by the Netherlands.

North West Grads player Ockenden, 27, who was a member of the 2010 world cup-winning team, scored against Malaysia and Belgium while Tamar Churinga's Deavin, who turns 30 next month, celebrated an early opener against Spain with a bizarre ``canoeing'' ritual which the sport's global body, the FIH, termed ``the best goal celebration so far''.

Either Argentina or Australia's 2012 Olympic conqueror Germany await in the semi-final and a bearded Deavin said: ``It's going to be an amazing game whoever we play.''

Deavin and Ockenden were both in the Australian team which finished with a bronze medal at the London Olympics and are both multiple Champions Trophy winners. 

Ockenden also won bronze at the Beijing Olympics in 2008, the year he was named world young player of the year.

Both Tasmanians are in the reckoning to represent Australia at next month's Commonwealth Games, along with Launceston's Nick Budgeon who impressed at the Sultan Azlan Shah tournament earlier in the year.

Launceston's Tim Deavin is congratulated by his Australian teammates after scoring a goal against Spain. Pictures:  GRANT TREEBY, www.treebyimages.com.au.

Launceston's Tim Deavin is congratulated by his Australian teammates after scoring a goal against Spain. Pictures: GRANT TREEBY, www.treebyimages.com.au.

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