Hockeyroo concerns over London Olympic Games umpiring
Australian women’s hockey coach Adam Commens has questioned umpiring standards and interpretations after his Hockeyroos were beaten 4-1 by Olympic champions The Netherlands in London.
AUSTRALIAN women’s hockey coach Adam Commens has questioned umpiring standards and interpretations ahead of the London Olympics after problems at a major Games lead-up.
The Hockeyroos made the final of the London Cup invitational event in Chiswick but were beaten 4-1 by Olympic champions The Netherlands on Monday.
Commens said he believed umpires at the tournament were struggling with demands from international hockey’s governing body for tighter interpretations on key rules, which are set to carry through to the Games.
“The FIH have asked for different interpretations on aerial balls, tackles, the five-metre rule and on masks and that makes it really difficult for umpires,” Commens said.
“We are thinking one thing and they (the umpires) are thinking something else.
“They are struggling with the speed of the game and the skill levels.
“They are doing their best but, unfortunately, it’s not good enough.”
The world No.7 Hockeyroos can at least console themselves with a solid tournament and decent first half against the world’s benchmark team.
Carlien Dirkse van de Heuvel opened the scoring for the Dutch in the 28th minute in a competitive first half before the world No.1 went up a gear after the break.
Maartje Paumen made it 2-0 soon after the break, before Kelly Jonker scored a couple of minutes later to make it 3-0.
Australia hit back through Georgia Nanscawen before Paumen scored her second 14 minutes from fulltime to ice the game for the Dutch.
The Hockeyroos have two practice matches against Germany at the London Olympic Park this week, before the 16-player Games team is named next week.
The Hockeyroos beat world No.3 Germany in the semi-finals at the London Cup, and will again face the Germans in their Olympic Games group.
IMAGE: The Netherlands defeated Australia 4-1 in the Investec London Cup final on Sunday. (Gary Baker)