Taranaki wins bid to host 8th Oceania Cup hockey


Hockey fans in New Zealand are thrilled to bits with the news that the country is going to host the eighth edition of the 2013 Oceania Cup hockey tournament from October 28 to November 3.

The Oceania Hockey Federation (OHF) gave its nod to New Zealand to host this event. The seven-day event, which is an international men’s and women’s field hockey competition held every two years, will be played in Taranaki in Straford district.

Sources in the Oceania Hockey Federation (OHF) say that there was intense bidding among several cities in New Zealand before Taranaki got the nod.

The Oceania Cup will be played at the newly re-laid turf in Stratford.

It is learnt that the Oceania Hockey Federation (OHF) has extended invitations to other Pacific nations such as Fiji, Samoa, Papua New Guinea and Vanuatu. The confirmation of these nations is expected by the end of this month.

The draw for the Oceania Cup will be finalised in early June.

The Oceania Cup will renew the intense hockey rivalry between the Australia and New Zealand men’s and women’s teams.

The tournament is of vital significance given the fact that the winning men’s and women’s teams seal an automatic berth to the World Cup and Summer Olympic Games.

The good thing for the Australian and New Zealand men’s and women’s teams is that they have a second chance of qualifying for the World Cup in case they fail to make it to through the Hockey World League Round 3 (semifinals) tournament.

It may be mentioned here that the inaugural Oceania Cup was first held in 1999 in Brisbane, Australia. Only hosts Australia and New Zealand took part in the men’s competition, playing six matches in that edition.

The Kookaburras won the first game 4-3 before drawing the second 1-1. The Aussies won the third game 3-1 before losing the fourth 2-3. The Kangaroos then thumped their Trans-Tasman rivals 6-0 and 5-3 in the fifth and sixth games respectively.

The inaugural women’s completion saw only Australia and New Zealand take part, featuring in three matches – The Hockeyroos beat the Black Sticks eves 4-0 in the first game before pipping them 2-0 in the second match. They won the third match 1-0.

The Oceania Hockey Federation (OHF) has traditionally rotated the Oceania Cup between Australia and New Zealand except for the 2005 edition, which was held in Suva, Fiji. In fact, Australia has hosted this event four times, while New Zealand have played hosts twice.

Australian men have won all the seven editions so far, while the Australian eves have won it four times, with New Zealand eves winning thrice.

Australian men and the New Zealand women won the last edition held in Hobart.

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