THE Australian Country hockey sides warmed up for the matches against the Fiji U18 Invitational sides with good wins over their Suva opponents yesterday.
The women's side beat Suva Selection 3-0 while the men's side beat the Suva Selection 5-1 at the National Hockey Turf in Suva.
The performance from the Suva sides were much better compared to their 0-5 (women's) and 1-14 (men's) losses on Saturday.
Fiji Hockey Federation development officer Tai Smith said the Suva sides improved on their defence by working on their weaknesses from the first matches.
"Both the Suva men's and women's sides lacked in attack but their defence was terrific today (yesterday) compared to Saturday," she said.
"It was a good performance from them and some of their players are in the HPU and national sides and they learnt a good lesson in the match."
Smith, who is also the coach of the under-18 sides said today's matches would be a baptism of fire for the teenagers.
"This will be their first match as a team and would be an interesting one to watch.
"I'm looking at giving these young players good experience and exposure so that they understand why they have to train so hard."
The under-18 girls and boys teams are preparing for next year's Youth Olympic Games qualifiers in Vanuatu.
Smith said she would be using a defensive strategy against the fast attacking Australian Country sides.
"My strategy would be to hug them really well which means good man to man marking.
"Keep the defensive line tight and try and make use of their mistakes."
The boys will play at 3pm while the girls will play at 5pm.
Smith has also called on hockey fans to come out in numbers and support our young players when they play the visitors today.