The Black Sticks Men have lost to the Netherlands 3-0 in an Olympic warm-up match in Utrecht, Holland last night.
The battle between the third-ranked Netherlands and the seventh-ranked Kiwis was a very even affair until the last 15 minutes when the home side knocked in two late goals.
Black Sticks coach Shane McLeod said despite the score line he was encouraged by what he saw in the match.
"We're in the same pool in London so it was very much about finding out a few things about the Dutch and exploring some tactical options. We were very competitive today and you only need to look at the penalty corner count (4-3 in New Zealand's favour) to see that."
The Netherlands opened the scoring in the fifth minute from a penalty corner goal, which just seconds before had been a corner at the other end.
Unsuccessful Kiwi corners in the 20th and 22nd minutes meant the home side took a 1-0 lead into the break.
The Dutch extended the lead in the 21st minute of the second half, and then with five minutes to go they knocked in their third while two Black Sticks players were sibinned.
The Black Sticks face the Netherlands in the second match of the series on 15 July.
Hawke's Bay is the Principal Partner of the Black Sticks Men and Women.
Netherlands 3 New Zealand 0. HT:1-0.