Ireland fall to Australia in second defeat at FIH Pro League

Ireland ship five goals for the second consecutive match on the occasion of Michael Robson’s 150th cap

After losing 5-1 to the Netherlands in their FIH Pro League debut at the weekend, Ireland’s men went down to another heavy defeat in India on Tuesday, Australia beating them 5-0 in a match that saw Michael Robson win his 150th cap.

After a scoreless first quarter, the Australians, ranked six in the world, five places above Ireland, were 3-0 up by half-time, Tom Craig, Jeremy Hayward and Ky Willott getting their goals. Nathan Ephraums and Willott again added a goal apiece in each of the last two quarters.

“Our basics let us down at times,” said Irish coach Mark Tumilty. “We needed to be more clinical in the attacking end of things and more switched on at the back end. You get punished at this level for the slightest errors and when chances come your way you have to convert them.”

Next up are Spain, to whom Ireland lost 2-0 in the semi-finals of their recent Olympic qualifier, before they finish this phase of the tournament against hosts India on Friday. After that, the venue changes from Bhubaneswar to Rourkela where Ireland will play the same four opponents again.

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Mary Hannigan

Mary Hannigan

Mary Hannigan is a sports writer with The Irish Times