BY ROMULUS HUTA
In Port Moresby, PNG
THE head coach of the national under-18 boys’ hockey team has vowed to put a lot of emphasis on defence prior to taking on Australia in match day two of the Oceania Youth Olympic Hockey Qualifiers currently underway in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea (PNG).
Solomon Islands will match onto the playing turf at the Sir John Guise Hockey Pavilion in Port Moresby 12 noon today for their third match scheduled against competition favourites Australia.
Australia is currently leading the tally with six points from two matches ahead of Vanuatu, Solomon Islands and PNG, respectively.
Solomon Islands boys head coach Allen Temoa said Australia is the favourites and the plan is to go out withna defensive approach.
“We’ll have to defend.
“That is the strategy I’m working on at the moment.
“We are hoping to give them a good run. Australia have won their first two matches with two big margins.
“Our aim is to try and match them. If things turn out wrong, we’ll continue to defend to avoid as many goals.
“Player positioning is one of the areas that we need to strengthen.
“We found out after reviewing the first two matches that most of the goals we conceded were through dispositioning.
“We will work on that this evening (yesterday) for the game against Australia,” Temoa added.
Solomon Islands recorded a 2-all draw against PNG and lost 5-2 to Vanuatu in their first two matches yesterday in the boys’ competition and leaves them to sit at the third position of the points table behind Australia and Vanuatu, respectively.
Commenting on the first two match rounds, Temoa stressed that Vanuatu and PNG are two formidable opponents.
“The margins are close. We just need to step up in our remaining matches to try and aim for the top two spots of the table.”
The two top teams emerging from the boys’ competition will earn automatic qualification into this year’s Youth Olympic Games due to take place in Buenos Aires, Argentina in October.