Gold Coast - Hosts Australia won their sixth consecutive Commonwealth Games men's hockey gold medal as they defeated New Zealand 2-0 in the final at the Gold Coast Hockey Centre.

With New Zealand picking up silver, England won bronze as they defeated India 2-1 earlier.

Australia’s win was the perfect end to captain Mark Knowles career. Prior to this event the legendary Kookaburra announced he would retire after Gold Coast 2018 and his team mates ensured he got the perfect send off.

Aaron Kleinschmidt jabbed home a pass just in front of New Zealand goalkeeper Richard Joyce in the 20th minute to set Australia on their way. The Kookaburras then doubled their lead at a crucial time when Matt Dawson smashed home a penalty corner into the bottom right of New Zealand's goal two minutes before half-time.

The second half saw New Zealand up the pressure but struggled to match their opponents who excelled across the pitch. The stats didn’t lie - Australia had 59% of possession, entered New Zealand’s circle almost twice as many times as their opponents theirs, and had almost twice as many shots at goal.

New Zealand’s Hugo Inglis had an opportunity in the 42nd minute to get his team back in the game but missed, whilst Dylan Wotherspoon, Lachlan Sharp and Trent Mitton all had chances to put the hosts further ahead.

It could have been a fairy-tale end for retiring captain Mark Knowles as Australia were awarded a penalty stroke in the 54th minute. However it wasn’t to be as the Aussie captain flicked high over the bar. That didn’t detract from an excellent performance by the world's number one team who made history by winning the Commonwealth Games men’s hockey for a record sixth time.

Speaking afterwards, Australia captain Knowles said: "It was a beautiful night, I couldn't have scripted it. The boys did so well and I am so proud. I looked up at the clock a couple of times after the stroke and thought the boys were going to back me up this time and they did. That's what every leader wants to see, their team perform and act like that under pressure in front of an amazing crowd."

England's men followed up their women’s bronze medal win earlier in the day as they also defeated Asian champions India. Sam Ward proved England’s superstar as he scored both goals to take him to the top of the event’s scoring charts with nine goals and retain the bronze medals that England won in Glasgow four years ago.

Ward scored from two penalty corners, his first coming in the seventh minute. India did not make it easy for England however and drew level in the 27th minute, with Varun Kumar scoring just before half-time from a penalty corner.

England edged possession in this game and were rewarded in the 42nd minute as Ward pounced on a penalty corner rebound to score what proved to be the winning goal and earn his team the bronze medals.

Meanwhile, New Zealand have won their first ever Commonwealth Games gold medal as they defeated Australia in the women’s hockey final.

As a result, Australia picked up silver while England won bronze as they beat India.

In the final, New Zealand took the lead through Shiloh Gloyn in the 28th minute when she smashed a shot beyond goalkeeper Rachael Lynch to give the Black Sticks a 1-0 advantage going into the half-time break.

Whilst Australia had their chances, New Zealand continued to dominate and in the third quarter, penalty corner conversions from Rose Keddell and Olivia Merry put them 3-0 ahead.

Australia’s Hockeyroos battled hard and made a brief comeback through a Jodie Kenny drag flick in the 50th minute but it was to be New Zealand’s day. Anita McLaren sealed their historic win in the 56th minute through a penalty corner to make the final score 4-1.

In the bronze medal match, Sophie Bray was a hat-trick hero for England as they defeated Asian champions India to secure their sixth consecutive Commonwealth Games medal.

Both teams took time to get into this match and although India challenged England goalkeeper Maddie Hinch on several occasions, England showed their ruthlessness in front of goal.

England pulled ahead just before half-time through Hollie Pearne-Webb. From a penalty corner she misjudged the trap but fortunately had enough time to make the strike herself, which to her delight ended up in the back of India’s net.

After the break England’s Sophie Bray lit up the Gold Coast Hockey Centre, her first goal the best as she perfectly executed a backhand strike into the top corner in the 43rd minute. She then got her second of the day six minutes later. Laura Unsworth made it 4-0 as she scored from a tight angle before Bray completed her hat-trick with only four minutes remaining. The three-goal hero had one last influence on the match as she set up her captain Alex Danson for England’s sixth.

 Men’s hockey final

standings

Rank     Team

1            Australia

2            New Zealand

3            England

4            India

5            Malaysia

6            Scotland

7            Pakistan

8            Canada

9            Wales

10          South Africa