Boomers survive NZ scare, hockey teams both win

The Boomers had to come from behind to beat New Zealand, while the Kookaburras and Hockeyroos enjoyed dominant wins.

Australia stole the psychological advantage over arch-rivals New Zealand in the race for Commonwealth Games basketball gold, claiming a dramatic come-from-behind 79-73 win in Cairns.

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The fired-up Tall Blacks took the challenge to the hometown favourites on Saturday, extending their two-point quarter-time lead to five at the main break and staying one step ahead in the trans-Tasman pool clash.

But a superb Nick Kay led the Boomers' late revival as they streaked ahead and ran down the clock for a six-point triumph.

In truth coach Andrej Lemanis' side were largely off the pace and got out of jail big time, and New Zealand will want another crack given they were one step ahead until well into the final quarter.

The Hockeyroos, Boomers and Kookaburras all won. Image: Getty

The Boomers were clearly feeling the loss of key players, struggling to get their shooting percentage up and suffering some sloppy defensive moments.

But if the speed and physicality was anything to go on, the gold-medal match shapes as a mouth-watering prospect.

KOOKABURRAS TOO GOOD IN OPENER

Gold medal favourites the Kookaburras have opened their Commonwealth Games hockey campaign with a dominant 4-0 win over South Africa.

The men's national team were slow out of the blocks on Saturday but clicked into gear after Trent Mitton's flick between his legs just before halftime.

The shots flowed in a one-sided second half, with Mitton nabbing a second before Jeremy Hayward and Aaron Kleinschmidt also getting on the scoresheet.

The 15th-ranked South Africans were plucky early, but were then no match against a rampant world No.1 side that had seven of their eight penalty corners in the second half.

The Kookaburras will need to recover quickly for their next pool match against Scotland on Sunday.

HOCKEYROOS FAIL TO IMPRESS

The Hockeyroos have failed to impress ahead of their blockbuster clash with New Zealand after sauntering to a 5-0 pool victory over hockey minnows Ghana.

Less than a day after being routed by the Black Sticks 12-0, the Commonwealth Games debutantes were stoic in only conceding five against the defending Games champions.

The result means the women's team will likely have to defeat their trans-Tasman rivals on Monday to top their group and avoid tournament favourites England until the gold medal match.

Of most concern for coach Paul Gaudoin will be their success rate off penalty corners, with just two of their 16 attempts finding the back of the net.

Jodie Kenny - who had six of those flicks - continued her successful comeback with two set piece goals in the first half, while Edwina Bone and Jane Claxton also scored for a 3-0 halftime lead.

Brooke Peris tapped in a cross midway through the third quarter, but it was otherwise tough going for an attack against a side, ranked world No.30, that opted to sit deep in defence all night.

Kenny's two goals saw her become Australia's highest goalscorer at the Games with 13.

MEN'S TABLE TENNIS TEAM BOWS OUT

Australia have been eliminated from the men's team table tennis event despite an unbeaten run in the preliminaries.

Heming Hu, Xin Yan and David Powell represented the five-player squad at Oxenford Studios on Saturday but Yan wearied in his second singles match, handing Nigeria the first-to-three game and a spot in the semi-finals.

Meanwhile, Australia will face Singapore in the women's team semi-finals on Sunday morning, with England and India also vying for a spot in the medal matches that evening.

ENGLAND SQUASH AUSSIE HEARTS

England have crushed Australia's hopes in the squash singles after knocking out the host nation's final two prospects.

After female No.1 Donna Urquhart's medal dreams were dashed on Saturday, Cameron Pilley blew a 2-1 lead in a five-game marathon loss.

Pilley appeared set to give a packed Oxenford Studios crowd what they wanted when he took a 2-1 lead against former world No.1 James Willstrop.

LAWN BOWLER MURPHY KNOCKED OUT

Australian lawn bowler Karen Murphy has been eliminated from the women's singles.

Murphy went down 21-19 to Colleen Pikash from South Africa in the quarter-finals on Saturday night at Broadbeach Bowls Club on the Gold Coast.

The 43-year-old, who read the athletes' oath at the opening ceremony, was considered a favourite to add to her Commonwealth gold from Melbourne in 2006.

AUSSIE BOXER INTO QUARTER-FINALS

Terry Nickolas has his sights set on gold after booking his spot in the quarter-finals of the 69kg division.

Nickolas claimed a unanimous points victory over Swaziland's Thabiso Selby Dlamini on Saturday night.

The 25-year-old will face a tough opponent on Tuesday in Indian veteran Manoj Kumar, who won gold in the 64kg division at the Delhi Games in 2010.

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