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In-form Kookaburras book Commonwealth Games semi spot

Aran Zalewski Hannah Peters/Getty Images

Gold medal favourites the Kookaburras have clinched a spot in the Commonwealth Games hockey semi-finals after cruising to a 4-0 win over Canada.

The host nation did all their damage in the first quarter on Tuesday, taking full advantage of a Canadian side that lost midfielder Mark Pearson for ten minutes for a poor challenge.

Australian forward Dylan Wotherspoon scored twice in as many minutes not long after, before Jeremy Hayward added a third from a penalty corner just before the first break.

The 11th-ranked Canadians stemmed the flow after quarter time but failed to make inroads against a Kookaburras defence that has conceded a tournament-best one goal in three matches.

Canada's best chance came midway through the third quarter however Balraj Panesar's flick hit the crossbar and bounced just inside the goal line.

Trent Mitton completed the rout with a reverse hit midway through the fourth quarter, however Hayward insists improvement is necessary heading into the back end of the tournament.

"We're trying to get our 60-minute performance going, but it's only the start of the tournament. We're halfway through now, we need to start perfecting that. We need to get on top of it," Hayward told AAP.

"We're pretty happy with the defence, even though we'd be happier with one less (goal). It's the foundation of our confidence. We know we can hold up in big games."

The result lifts Australia equal with New Zealand on nine points and with an identical plus-13 in for-and-against in their pool ahead of their final group match against the Black Sticks on Wednesday.

Hayward predicted their trans-Tasman rivals would be a far tougher prospect than the ones they beat twice in the Oceania Cup last October.

"They've got a totally different team. All their players were over in Europe (for that tournament) so they've got their strongest team here now ready to go," he said.

Australia have won men's gold at every Commonwealth Games since 1998 when hockey was first included.