Hockey: Black Sticks win playoff for third

The Black Sticks won their first match of the women's hockey Rabo Trophy, 3-2 over China in the playoff for third in the Netherlands today.

A field goal from Krystal Forgesson in the 59th minute broke the deadlock after first half goals from Clarissa Eshuis and Charlotte Harrison, giving the ninth-ranked New Zealanders a prized victory over a side ranked third in the world.

The Black Sticks drew 4-4 with China earlier in the tournament and also lost to Argentina, 1-2, and the Netherlands, 0-4.

Black Sticks coach Mark Hager was pleased with the team's performance and said it was good preparation for the Champions Trophy, which starts on Saturday in Nottingham, England.

New Zealand's five opponents at the tournament are all ranked higher: the Netherlands (1), Argentina (2), China (3), Germany (4) and England (7).

- NZPA

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