The Rabobank Hockey World Cup Review

Argentina defeat England women at the Hockey World Cup 2014 - Photo by Ady Kerry

For two weeks the Rabobank Hockey World Cup has blazed across computer and TV screens, through both YouTube and Sky Sports' amazing daily coverage.

The first week-and-a-half of the competition was the pool stages as Men's and Women's Pools A and B played each other in a round-robin format to determine who'd face who in the qualification stage that took place over the final four days.

In the Women's pool stages the USA took everyone by surprise topping the table in Pool B. They came into the tournament ranked 10th in the world and stormed to the top of the table, winning four out of five matches and drawing the fifth. Once in the Qualification stage they lost their Semi-Final in a shoot-out to Australia and then lost by one goal to Argentina in the Bronze play-off. While the USA may not go home with a medal, they should still be proud of everything they achieved in the Hague this summer.

The Women's Finals saw the Netherlands and Australia face off after having played against each other in the pool stages. That game went 2-0 to the Netherlands and true to form they defeated Australia by the same scoreline in the Final, delighting the home crowd and making it through the World Cup without losing a single game and conceding only one goal across seven matches. However, facing up to the World number one is no mean feat, and to get a silver medal out of it is also a great result for the Australians, ranked fourth in the world.

Argentina was the surprise success story in the Men's pool stages - ranked 11th, they managed to get into the semi-finals with 12 points under their belts and three points clear of their closest competitor Germany, though still a point behind the Netherlands. They faced Australia in the semi-finals, going down 5-1 by the time the full-time buzzer sounded, which sent them off to face England in the bronze play-off match on Sunday. A close game followed between the two but a couple of quick goals, despite some controversy, sealed their victory and meant both of Argentina's teams flew home with medals.

And so to the last game of the tournament between two of the Men's tournament powerhouses, Australia and the Netherlands in the Men's Final. Ranked first and fourth in the world respectively (the inverse of their women's team counterparts), both teams were expected to do well at the World Cup and neither had disappointed. Australia went into their semi-final against Argentina with five wins behind them and only one goal conceded, while the Netherlands faced England in their semi-final - they had a tougher time of it than Australia as England held them off for the most part, but one goal proved enough to send the home side to the finals. It was bound to be a high-scoring match and it was Australia who ended up on top, playing outstanding hockey and scoring a massive six goals to the Netherlands' one to take home the gold.

England's success at the World Cup was mixed: as our men made their way to the Semi-Finals the women languished at the foot of their table. Both teams had a somewhat surprising first result, as the men drew against Spain and our women lost to the USA, and from there each team walked a different path. The men battled into the semi-finals with a final victory over Belgium before losing two close games against the Netherlands (the Semi-Final) and Argentina (in the bronze medal match) to finish fourth, while it was too little too late for the women as they beat Germany in their last pool game but had to fight for 11th place, beating Belgium after a shoot-out in the final match.

The World Cup might now be over, but you can see World Cup highlights and full-match replays all on the FIH YouTube channel! You can also check out the men's and women's results in our International Results section. You can also read about our England Masters teams' successes, as all of our Men's and Women's teams stormed to the top of their tables! 

You can next see England's men and women on home turf at the Investec London Cup on the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. This is the first tournament to be at the Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre, hockey’s Olympic legacy stadium, and will be held across five days on 9-13 July. Tickets are available from www.englandhockey.co.uk/tickets.