The Kookaburras have warmed up for the Darwin International Hockey Open (DIHO) with a 1-0 victory over world number two Argentina at Marrara Hockey Centre on Sunday.
Darwin product Jeremy Hayward scored the game’s only goal with a powerful drive in the third period after his initial drag flick was blocked.
The result in the one-off Test match provides a great boost for the Kookaburras ahead of the opening DIHO matches on Tuesday.
Australia also blooded trio Josh Simmonds, Jack Welch and Jacob Anderson who made their international debuts.
The hosts will face Malaysia from 7pm (local time) on Tuesday, preceded by Argentina versus Japan from 5:15pm.
The Kookaburras, who arrived in Darwin on Wednesday, started well with a series of penalty corners which had Hayward testing Argentina goalkeeper Juan Vivaldi.
Simmonds tried his luck from a penalty corner, before Argentine captain Pedro Ibarra shot wide after swooping on an errant pass.
Few chances were created in the second with returning forward Kieran Govers forcing a clever save from Vivaldi from an angle.
Hayward fired home the winner two minutes after the long interval, lashing home well at the second attempt.
The NT defender forced another save high from Vivaldi from a penalty corner, before Anderson shot wide with a half-chance.
Argentina forward Maico Casella flicked a deflection wide, while Matias Paredes fizzed a shot off target too as the visitors pushed for a leveller which never arrived.
Australia 1 (Hayward 32’)