Siblings from Perth face off AGAINST each other at the Tokyo Olympics in the men’s hockey Australia

Battle of the brothers: Siblings from Perth face off AGAINST each other at the Tokyo Olympics in the men’s hockey – and it’s the Aussie who has the last laugh

  • Australia’s Jeremy Hayward played his brother Leon in men’s hockey at Olympics
  • Leon plays goalkeeper for the Kiwis and is eligible as his mother was born in NZ 
  • Jeremy got the last laugh with the Kookaburras beating their rivals 4-2

New Zealand’s Leon Hayward may have won his personal duel against brother Jeremy but it was the Aussie Kookaburra who enjoyed the last laugh in their ‘ridiculous’ Olympic hockey face-off.

The 31-year-old Leon, in goal for New Zealand, had the sinking feeling of his net bulging as Australia kept up their 100% winning record at the Games on Wednesday with a 4-2 triumph.

His only consolation was making three fine saves and stopping Jeremy, the Australian defender, scoring past him as he made a brilliant stop from his younger brother’s third-quarter penalty corner flick, gloving the high-speed strike on to the post.

‘Could you imagine it? It’s ridiculous isn’t it?’ smiled Leon, pondering the trans-Tasman family confrontation.

‘It’s a good feeling, a strange feeling, and I guess everyone’s really proud of what’s happened – but, unfortunately, I didn’t win today so I’m not the happiest guy.’ 

Australia’s Jeremy Hayward (pictured) played against his brother Leon in the men’s hockey at the Olympics on Wednesday night after a ‘ridiculous’ rule saw the siblings compete

Leon Hayward (pictured in red) was once Australia's goalie but was snapped up by NZ when he failed to hold his place in the team. He's eligible for the Kiwis because his mum hails from Dunedin

Leon Hayward (pictured in red) was once Australia’s goalie but was snapped up by NZ when he failed to hold his place in the team. He’s eligible for the Kiwis because his mum hails from Dunedin

The 31-year-old Leon, in goal for New Zealand, had the sinking feeling of his net bulging as Australia kept up their 100% winning record at the Games on Wednesday with a 4-2 triumph

The 31-year-old Leon, in goal for New Zealand, had the sinking feeling of his net bulging as Australia kept up their 100% winning record at the Games on Wednesday with a 4-2 triumph

The two Perth-raised brothers admitted it had been a weird, but enjoyable, feeling facing off on sport’s biggest stage.

Leon was once the Kookaburras’ goalie but after failing to hold down his place, ended up four years later being snapped up by the Black Sticks. He was eligible to play for them because his mother Ellie, who had played at state level in Australia, hails from Dunedin.  

For both, it was a unique occasion worth celebrating.

‘Have to give a shout-out to mum there,’ smiled 28-year-old Jeremy. 

‘New Zealand-born, a dual citizen so Leon’s moved across the ditch and playing for the opposition.

‘We grew up playing next to each other and I’d much rather be playing next to him and with him. We’ve played a few times previously but a bit bigger stage this time.’

The two Perth-raised brothers admitted it had been a weird, but enjoyable, feeling facing off on sport's biggest stage

The two Perth-raised brothers admitted it had been a weird, but enjoyable, feeling facing off on sport’s biggest stage

'Growing up, Leon taught me toughness, that's for sure. He beat me up a fair bit! He taught me how to be tough, and we love each other, and I thank him for that as well'

‘Growing up, Leon taught me toughness, that’s for sure. He beat me up a fair bit! He taught me how to be tough, and we love each other, and I thank him for that as well’

So who were mum and dad supporting?

‘I don’t know who’s the favourite child at the moment. They’ve got a win – they’ve also got a loss. They were hoping for a draw, I guess,’ shrugged Jeremy. 

‘They’ll be proud either way seeing both their sons.’

The victor praised his elder sibling. 

‘Growing up, Leon taught me toughness, that’s for sure. He beat me up a fair bit! He taught me how to be tough, and we love each other, and I thank him for that as well.

‘We never threw punches, we were just wrestling. He was always that bit stronger than me and I always had a target to reach. Always looking up to him, the bigger brother.’

But it’s the little brother in the Olympic driving seat with Australia having won all four matches while New Zealand, with one win and one draw from their four, still battling to make the knock-out stages

DAY 6 SCHEDULE – MUST-WATCH EVENTS

11:30am – Men’s 800m freestyle – Jack McLoughlin 

11.45am – Men’s 200m breaststroke – Zac Stubblety Cook

11.53am – Women’s 100m freestyle – Emma McKeon 

12.37pm – Men’s 100m freestyle – Kyle Chalmers 

1.31pm – Women’s 4x200m freestyle – Australia 

4:55pm – Women’s C1 Canoe Slalom – Jess Fox 

7:00pm – Mixed doubles tennis – Ash Barty 

8.02pm – Women’s 800m freestyle – Ariarne Titmus 

9.08pm – Women’s 200m backstroke – Kaylee McKeown 

9.28pm – Mixed 4x100m medley – Australia  

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