Big cats face off in season defining double header


In a week that has seen lions escaping Sydney zoo enclosures, NSW Pride take their hunt for a Sultana Bran Hockey One championship to Hobart to do battle against the other big cat team of the league – the Tassie Tigers.

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Friday night will be the final time the Tigers open the gates to their Hobart den this season. The iconic venue leads the competition in crowd numbers – notching a league record of more than 2,000 attendees in Round 4. Can fans rally to break new records at the penultimate round double header?

The Tigers Women have not managed a win since Round 1 when they knocked off defending champions Brisbane Blaze in a shootout on home turf. Captain Maddy Murphy will be hoping to inspire her team to victory in the same fashion.

The home team will need to bring better form than last week, though, when the Perth Thundersticks ran rings around the young cubs in a 3-0 result. US import defender Jillian Wolgemuth and goalkeeper Evie Dalton united to defend with guts, but their teammates were turned over across the pitch.

American FIH Pro League midfielder Cassie Sumfest (Tigers) and 18-year-old rising star Maddi Brooks have become crowd favourites in the Tigers midfield this season. The pair will need to come out strong against some of the league’s best in Mariah Williams and Grace Young (NSW Pride).

The Pride Women are bolstered by the return of Hockeyroo and Birmingham Commonwealth Games silver medallist goalkeeper Jocelyn Bartram, who swaps back in for Zoe Newman this week.

However, they will be missing key striker and Hockeyroo Grace Stewart, who has consistently created chances and is the team’s most efficient striker, finding the net six times this season.

The Pride’s Achilles heel in their loss to Brisbane last week was heir inability to convert myriad opportunities into goals. This week, missing Stewart could prove fatal in a match that has major implications for finals.

In the men’s game, all eyes will be on the return of Kookaburras icon, World Cup winner and Tokyo Olympic silver medallist Jeremy Hayward as he makes his season debut for the Tassie Tigers.

Under 21s star Josh Brooks also comes back into the side after helping the Burras claim silver at the Sultan of Johor Cup in Malaysia.

The Tassie Tigers men have found new energy after a shaky start to the season, with the inclusion of scoring machine and dominant midfielder Jack Welch.

In combination these key inclusions spell serious opportunity for the Tigers, who have a chance to steal five points from the defending champions the NSW Pride while Kookaburras playmaker Flynn Ogilvie misses a week.

NSW brings defender Nathan Czinner back into the team after his outing to Malaysia alongside Brooks. Czinner’s combination with Dylan Martin at the back will be crucial in keeping the Tigers out.

Young forward Miles Davis has been making moves and finally scored an electric goal for the Pride last week. Davis’ star is on the rise and will be called upon to kickstart the scoreboard this week.

Prior to last week’s shock loss, the NSW Pride had not lost a game in the existence of the Hockey One League. Plenty of fans will be expecting a strong rebound to the winners circle; however, stranger things have been known to occur in the animal kingdom this week.

Last time these teams met, NSW Pride won both matches. The women won 5-0 and the men’s score was 4-2.

Tassie Tigers v NSW Pride
Friday 4 November 2022
Tasmanian Hockey Centre, TAS
Match Start: Women’s 6:30pm local (6:30pm AEDT), Men’s 8:00pm local (8:00pm AEDT)
Broadcast: LIVE and exclusive on Kayo #TIGvNSW #HockeyOne
Umpires: Rhiannon Murrie & Cassidy Gallagher (Women’s), Jayden Pearson & Tim Sheahan (Men’s)

Tassie Tigers Women’s team: 1.Sarah McCambridge, 3.Hannah Richardson, 4.Maddi Brooks, 5.Taylor Brooks, 7.Maddy Murphy (c), 8.Cassie Sumfest, 9.Emily Donovan, 10.Kiah Williams, 11.Eliza Westland, 12.Lou Maddock, 14.Brooke DeBerdine, 15.Lucy Cooper, 16.Madi Clark, 21.Lauren Canning, 25.Evie Dalton (gk)
In: 16.Madi Clark
Out: 2.Jillian Wolgemuth

NSW Pride Women’s team: 1.Jocelyn Bartram (gk), 2.Sarah Johnston, 3.Hannah Kable, 4.Kendalle Tait, 6.Estelle Hughes, 8.Alana Kavanagh, 10.Greta Hayes, 19.Morgan Blamey, 20.Maddi Smith, 21.Alice Arnott, 23.Abigail Wilson (c), 24.Mariah Williams, 30.Makayla Jones, 31.Emma Spinks, 32.Grace Young
In: 1.Jocelyn Bartram (gk), 2.Sarah Johnston, 21.Alice Arnott, 30.Makayla Jones, 31.Emma Spinks
Out: 7.Grace Stewart, 9.Zoe Newman (gk), 11.Emma Scriven, 13.Tamsin Bunt, 18.Julia Bradley

Tassie Tigers Men’s team: 2.Tyler McDonald, 4.Hayden Beltz, 6.Josh Brooks, 7.Josh Mardell, 9.Jeremy Edwards, 10.Ruben Hoey, 11.Eddie Ockenden, 13.Joshua Beltz (c), 14.Jack Welch, 15.Kieron Arthur, 19.Tim Deavin, 22.Oliver Pritchard, 23.Henry Chambers (gk), 27.Gobindraj Gill, 32.Jeremy Hayward
In: 6.Josh Brooks, 32.Jeremy Hayward
Out: 8.Joseph Murphy, 20.James Bourke

NSW Pride Men’s team: 5.Ash Thomas (gk), 7.Daine Richards, 8.Nathaniel Stewart, 9.Nathan Czinner, 14.Dylan Martin, 15.Miles Davis, 19.Tom Brown, 20.Ky Willott, 23.Ryan Proctor, 25.Jack Hayes (c), 26.Ehren Hazell, 28.Sam Gray, 32.Callum Mackay, 33.Sam Mudford, 35.Rory Walker
In: 9.Nathan Czinner
Out: 22.Flynn Ogilvie