Match Preview | Perth Thundersticks vs Adelaide Fire

We’re beyond the half-way point of the 2023 JDH Hockey One season and all eyes are on the Perth Thundersticks ahead of their trip to MATE Stadium to take on the Adelaide Fire.


The Perth Thundersticks women’s squad may be riding high as the only undefeated team in the competition, but there will be no time to get comfortable as they look to tame the Adelaide Fire on Sunday.

The Thundersticks go into the match off the back of a tough battle against Hockey Club Melbourne, which saw an intense midfield battle and interceptions aplenty from both sides.

There was little to separate the Thundersticks and HC Melbourne throughout the contest, with a 30th minute penalty corner goal via Penny Squibb proving the difference to help the Thundersticks shoot to the top of the ladder.

Following the match, coach Phil Hulbert said while he was for the ladies to come out on top after a tough battle on the field, there were still a few things to tighten up ahead of the next match.

“We want to continue making sure we’re as clean as we possibly can be with the ball, continue to build those connection and continuing to play at a higher intensity,” he said.

“We’ll keep pushing forward and we’ll see how we go.”

The Adelaide Fire currently sit in sixth position on the ladder, yet to record a win but will be determined to get break the Thundersticks’ undefeated streak after having the bye last weekend.

Despite a less-than-ideal start to their 2023 campaign with a 4-0 loss to Brisbane Blaze in round one, the Fire have come agonisingly close to snatching a win in recent weeks, falling just short against Hockey Club Melbourne (2-1) and Canberra Chill (2-2 [2-3 SO]).

The Thundersticks will need to continue putting up a strong defensive front and continue their tough press across the ground to keep their undefeated streak intact.


As the clock winds down towards the JDH Hockey One Final series in Canberra with top four spots on the line, it is now do or die for the Perth Thundersticks men’s squad.

Their quest for gold hit another road bump on Sunday, going down to Hockey Club Melbourne 6-2 in what could be considered one of the biggest upsets of the season so far.

While there was plenty to like from individual performances including Aran Zalewski, James Day and Ben Rennie, coach Craig Wilson said there was “plenty of work to do” to try and salvage their season.

“Our basic skills of just ball handling weren’t at the level they needed to be at this high-end competition so that’s going to be something to focus on and get that back underneath our skin so we can play whatever playing style very well,” Wilson said.

“We’re also talking and working hard to connect in [the field goal] space.

“Sometimes it’s about player connections – that one little moment that you seize the opportunity of one pass to one player that gives you that chance.

“Other times it’s individual brilliance but we’re going to have to keep working in that space, as well as trying again to keep our corner percentage and get that a bit higher as well so we’re a threat on both fronts.”

Wilson said having another away match will provide a good opportunity to continue bonding the playing group together with extra time on flights and in the hotel accommodation ahead of the next match.

“I think that can be a catalyst of better performance and a well-bonded group to give it a drive,” he said.

Also looking to salvage their 2023 campaign is Adelaide Fire, who will be returning from a bye keen to notch their second win of the season.

The Fire sit in fifth position on the ladder with a 10-2 loss to Brisbane Blaze, a 3-2 win over Hockey Club Melbourne, and a 2-2 (3-1 SO) loss to Canberra Chill to their name.

In order to get their season back on track, the Thundersticks will need to fire out the gate from the first push-out and keep striking threats like Fraser Heigh (four goals) and Jack Holland (two goals) quiet.

You can watch all the action from the Perth Thundersticks’ double-header against Adelaide Fire LIVE and FREE on 7Plus.