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Dutch spoil Ireland's Rio Olympics send-off

By Graham Hamilton

Published 07/07/2016

Tough task: Ireland men's hockey coach Craig Fulton
Tough task: Ireland men's hockey coach Craig Fulton

Constantijn Jonker's first-half hat-trick paved the way for an emphatic 5-0 victory for World No.2 Netherlands as Ireland ended their summer series of build-up games for the Rio Olympics disappointingly at The Mardyke in Cork last night.

The next step for coach Craig Fulton is to shave another three players off his training panel and name a final 16 and two reserves for Rio before they fly out to the Brazil showpiece in ten days' time to acclimatise ahead of their opening pool game against India on August 6.

The size of the task ahead of them was underlined as the Dutch, who are in Ireland's pool, swept them aside for the second time in three days.

Admittedly, the Irish were coming off the back of a Six Nations series in Valencia and the busy schedule of seven games in ten days unquestionably took its toll, with Valentin Verga adding to Jonker's treble in the first-half.

The Irish were much better in the second period but did concede a fifth on the counter-attack, with Jonker getting his fourth with a neat reverse.

Belfast Telegraph

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