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Australian hockey teams under microscope

Winners have parties; losers have meetings.

Unfortunately, for Australian hockey, there will be plenty of meetings.

The Australian men's and women's teams both fell to crushing quarter-final losses and questions are being asked how two highly ranked sides can turn in such underwhelming Olympic campaigns.

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Anita McLaren of New Zealand challenges Kristin Dwyer of Australia (right) during play in the Women's Hockey Quarterfinal between New Zealand and Australia at the Olympic Hockey Centre, on day ten of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, Monday, Aug. 15, 2016 (AAP Image/Sam Mooy)

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 Madonna King of Australia (obscured) is consoled at the end of play in the Women's Hockey Quarterfinal between New Zealand and Australia at the Olympic Hockey Centre, on day ten of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, Monday, Aug. 15, 2016 (AAP Image/Sam Mooy)

Most was expected of the men's side the Kookaburras, the world No.1, and holders of every major title in the sport, except the Olympic crown.

While the world No.3 Hockeyroos were tipped as a strong medal chance, having good form coming into the Games, and boasting a fast and powerful young squad.

The Kookaburras have underperformed before, coming in as strong favourites only to walk away without the gold.

But to come away from a Games without a medal is something they haven't done since finishing fourth at the Seoul Olympics in 1988.

Pressure will be on Kookaburras coach Graham Reid after his side looked flat throughout the campaign where they won three from five pool games.

Gone was the confident play from the non-Olympic periods, only to be replaced by a muddled uncertain brand of hockey.

The Kookaburras lose Australia's greatest player Jamie Dwyer to retirement and captain Mark Knowles is under pressure to keep his spot.

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Netherlands' Jeroen Hertzberger, center, shakes hands with Australia's Fergus Kavanagh at the end of a men's field hockey quarterfinal match at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Sunday, Aug. 14, 2016. Netherlands beat Australia 4-0. (AP Photo/Dario Lopez-Mills)

 

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Players from Netherlands celebrates after beating Australia during a men's field hockey quarter final match at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Sunday, Aug. 14, 2016. (AP Photo/Dario Lopez-Mills)

Knowles like Dwyer played in the Australian men's only gold medal side at the 2004 Athens Olympics.

"I thought we were as well prepared as we have been. We put significantly more work into this than we have at any Olympic period that I have been apart of," said Knowles.

"We spoke after Beijing eight years ago, we spoke after London four years ago ... about how we need to do it on the big stage when it really matters."

The Hockeyroos' campaign was similar to the Kookaburras in that they never really clicked.

Coach Adam Commens, who announced before Rio that he was quitting after six years in charge to return to Belgium for family reasons, believes the future is bright for the Hockeyroos.

"There's 12 debutantes here and they have the right attitude these girls to go through to the next Games," he said following the 4-2 quarter-final loss to New Zealand.

"If you look at the other nations who will have a lot of retirements, I think we'll be on the upward trend.

"I was hopeful they'd be able to do it in Rio but we were probably found a little bit short against a very good New Zealand side."

© AAP 2016