Hockeyroos crush Kenya to open Games

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The Hockeyroos feel like they're playing with a target on their backs, but they made light work of the pressure to open their Commonwealth Games campaign with an 8-0 thumping of Kenya.

Coming into Birmingham on the back of a bronze medal at this month's World Cup, the Aussies appear the team to beat - and their domination of the world No. 37-ranked team did little to dispel those claims.

Kenya failed to get a shot on goal all game, while it was only for the heroics of their two keepers that they managed to avoid a heavier defeat after conceding four goals inside the first quarter - including two within the first five minutes.

Captain Kaitlin Nobbs was the surprise source of goals as she finished with a hat-trick, almost double her previous career total of four.

The Hockeyroos know there will be sterner tests to come, starting with Sunday's game against South Africa, and they expect their World Cup success will have everyone gunning for them.

"It's put a bit of a target on our back, but it's a really good feeling knowing that we can get to that level against really good teams," said Nobbs, who will make her 100th appearance for the Hockeyroos on Sunday.

"Now it's up to us to bring the intensity ourselves and expect more.

"We had lots and lots of chances, we weren't too worried about the scoreline, that wasn't our focus ...I think we've got a lot to take out of that game into tomorrow."

Coach Katrina Powell said the squad was focussed on building on their World Cup success.

"Certainly coming off a bronze medal at a World Cup, we're working our way back into performance," she said.

"We've had a couple of changes to our team as well (from the World Cup). It's important for us to progress from the World Cup and to push ourselves to be better."

Australia dominated from the outset, Nobbs capitalising after being left unmarked in front goal inside the opening three minutes before Shanea Tonkin scored the first of her two goals when she deflected a scorching Maddy Fitzpatrick cross from the sideline into the goal.

Claire Colwill, Stephanie Kershaw and Grace Stewart were the other goal scorers.

On top of the women being back on the field at Birmingham University on Sunday, Australia's men's team will play their first contest of the Games when they go up against Scotland.

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