Australia bows out to Great Britain

Alejandor Pena passing the ball as a british defender looks on

In their last match at the IHF Men’s Emerging Nations Championship, Australia had high hopes of finishing the tournament on a positive note against Great Britain. Unfortunately, the Australian team had a slow start, which allowed their European opponents to take an early 7-3 lead. Despite their efforts, Australia struggled to catch up to Great Britain, who eventually secured a convincing 34-22 victory over Australia on Sunday in Varna.

Australia has had an impressive run at the IHF Men’s Emerging Nations Championship, with their strength in defense being a key feature of their performance. In the matches leading up to the final game against Great Britain, Australia had only conceded an average of 22 goals per game. Backed by some outstanding performances by goalkeeper Bjorn McCourt, the Australian defensive line once again had a great start to the game against Great Britain. However, a spate of missed opportunities and technical errors in attack exposed McCourt to more shots from open situations, which the British attack took advantage of.

Despite Australia’s efforts to mount a comeback, Taip Ramadani’s side was only able to produce four goals in the first 14 minutes of the second half. Great Britain continued to dominate, building an 11-goal lead with 15 minutes to go, which they maintained until the end.

Australia had their best-ever finish at the IHF Men’s Emerging Nations Championship, bettering their 12th-place finish from Kosovo 2015. As the host nation for the Brisbane 2032 Olympic Games, they are looking to rejuvenate their team and improve their performance in the future.

Australian line player Karl Warrener was named in the competition’s All-Star team as the Line Player for the tournament.

Australia’s Karl Warrener was named Line Player of the tournament – 4th IHF Men’s Emerging Nations Championship, Palace of Culture and Sports, Varna, Bulgaria, 30.04.2023, Credit © Sasa Pahic Szabo