Rocky trio helped silence The Netherlands to win second cup
KOOKABURRAS captain Mark Knowles hoisted the World Cup trophy high above his head after leading Australia to a 6-1 demolition of the Netherlands.
Knowles, and fellow Rockhampton stars Jamie Dwyer and Matt Gohdes celebrated after winning Australia's second consecutive World Cup, in the process silencing the home crowd at The Hague in the early hours of Monday morning (AEST).
Kookaburras defender Knowles, who was stretchered off the field during Australia's 4-0 final round win over India last Monday, was named player of the tournament for his dogged approach in defence, which saw Australia concede just three goals during the World Cup.
Five-time world player-of-the-year Dwyer described the win as better than the Kookaburras' 2010 title.
"For me this is better," Dwyer told AAP. "To win a World Cup 6-1 is incredible; it's unheard of."
Penalty corner specialist Chris Ciriello scored a hat trick, while Dwyer, Glenn Turner and Keiran Govers all found the back of the net.
Across the tournament Australia amassed 30 goals, while conceding just three.
"I think we play the best hockey in the world," veteran Australian coach Ric Charlesworth said.
"We play a brand of hockey which is expansive, creative and quick.
"We have the best defence here by a long way. We conceded three goals; the next team maybe eight or nine; and we scored maybe 15 more goals than anyone else."
A true leader, Knowles took a simple approach to captaining the Kookaburras, which was to ensure his teammates reached their potential.
"For mine, being a leader in the team is about encouraging and getting the best out of my teammates," he said.
"Today we went pretty close to that I reckon.
"You don't get belief of winning finals just from the first attempt. This has been going on for years on end for our group."
Australia headed into half-time leading 2-1, before Dwyer capped off a remarkable victory with a goal in his record-equalling 321st Kookaburra appearance.
While the Kookaburras' attack was at its best, Knowles was full of praise for his players and their work in defence.
"We saw a couple of what I would class absolutely outstanding individual things today," he said.
"The goals are great but Simon Orchard and Liam de Young chasing back.
"That's what we're all about."