East-coast rivals clash in season opener

By Kate Allman

An east-coast clash between heavyweights of Australian hockey will hit off the first week of the Sultana Bran Hockey One League in 2022.

NSW Pride fly south to take on Hockey Club Melbourne in a highly anticipated double header to open Season Two of Hockey One.

Catch all the action LIVE on Kayo or get along to the matches.
Tickets are available through Ticketek.

History is divided between these franchises. The Pride are defending champions in the men’s competition, while on the women’s side, HC Melbourne only narrowly lost in last season’s final to a fiery Brisbane Blaze.

The Pride has a flock of Kookaburras in its men’s squad, but a handful are unavailable in Round 1 due to overseas commitments, leaving defensive gaps for HC Melbourne weapons like Kookaburras striker Nathan Ephraums to exploit.

Last time the teams met, the Pride men defeated Melbourne convincingly (6-1 mid-season and 6-2 in the semi finals). However this year, HC Melbourne’s nine new players could flip that script.

While HC Melbourne women got the better of NSW Pride in 2019 (winning 7-2 mid-season), the fresh-faced Pride women’s team is roaring with potential. Young cubs like Grace Young, Julia Bradley and Abby Wilson bolster a solid backbone of Hockeyroos including Greta Hayes, Grace Stewart and Mariah Williams. They’ll need to get around the Hockeyroos’ most-capped goalkeeper – HC Melbourne’s Rachael Lynch – to do damage though.

This fixture has been three years in the making and by all reports, the fans know it – so far more than 1,200 have bought tickets to claim their spot pitchside for the action at Melbourne Sports Centre in Parkville.

HC Melbourne v NSW Pride
Thursday 29 September 2022
Melbourne Sports Centres – Parkville (VIC)
Match Start: Women’s 6:30pm local (6:30pm AEST), Men’s 8:00pm local (8:00pm AEST)

Broadcast: LIVE and exclusive on Kayo and FOX Sports
Join the conversation on Twitter using the hashtags #HCMvNSW #HockeyOne

HC Melbourne Women’s team: 2.Aisling Utri, 3.Nicola Hammond, 4.Amy Lawton, 5.Krissy Bates, 6.Josie Lawton, 7.Ciara Utri, 8.Hannah Cotter, 9.Carly James, 10.Rosario Villagra, 11.Joanne Peeters, 13.Megan Alakus, 14.Anna Moore, 15.Olivia Downes, 20.Zali Ward, 27.Rachael Lynch (gk)

NSW Pride Women’s team: 1.Jocelyn Bartram (gk), 2.Sarah Johnston, 3.Hannah Kable, 4.Kendelle Tait, 6.Estelle Hughes, 7.Grace Stewart, 11.Emma Scriven, 13.Tamsin Bunt, 19.Morgan Blamey, 20.Maddi Smith (c), 23.Abigail Wilson, 24.Mariah Williams, 30.Makayla Jones, 31.Emma Spinks, 32.Grace Young

HC Melbourne Men’s team: 1.Craig Marais, 3.Jonathan Bretherton, 4.Liam Henderson, 6.Damon Steffens, 7.Nathan Ephraums, 9.Trent Symss, 10.Russell Ford (c), 11.Cooper Burns, 12.Connar Otterbach, 13.Jayshaan Randhawa, 15.Josh Simmonds (c), 17.Kiran Arunasalam, 18.Johan Durst (gk), 20.Josh Bretherton, 21.Jake Sherren

NSW Pride Men’s team: 5.Ash Thomas (gk), 7.Daine Richards, 8.Nathanael Stewart, 9.Nathan Czinner, 14.Dylan Martin, 15.Miles David, 19.Tom Brown, 20.Ky Willott, 23.Ryan Proctor, 25.Jack Hayes, 26.Ehren Hazell, 28.Sam Gray, 32.Callum Mackay, 34.Tom Miotto, 35.Rory Walker