Hockey: Win in wet was worth wait

New Zealand 5
South Korea 1

The Black Sticks will play Argentina in the final of the women's Four Nations series today after a game of hockey that lasted over four hours - thanks to the violently wet weather.

The first internationals to be played on the new turfs at the Tauranga Hockey Centre at Mount Maunganui were badly affected by severe rain storms that lashed the area and the Black Sticks crucial match with Korea was stopped after 25 minutes because of water pooling on the turf with South Korea leading 1-0.

At that stage, the decision was taken to award the match to Korea if the weather did not clear. However, the players waited three hours before resuming the match at 6.30pm and the Black Sticks dominated from the restart. Captain Katie Glynn scored twice in the 10 minutes before the break to give her team a psychologically damaging 2-1 lead and, within 10 minutes of the second spell, Glynn scored another two to build a commanding 4-1 lead.

The fourth was from a controversial stroke awarded against the Korean goalkeeper after she made contact outside the circle.

Olivier Merry knocked in a fifth before the end to finish off the Koreans 5-1. They contributed to an intense match and had as many chances to be singing in the rain as the Black Sticks - but they could not convert.

In the early game yesterday, Argentina were surprisingly held 1-1 by the United States who had lost all their previous games in the series. Argentina completely dominated the first half and when they scored just before halftime it seemed inevitable they would win in a canter. But the US fought hard and tied the game 1-1 with a well-taken goal from their only penalty corner of the match.

Today's play-off for third and fourth between Korea and the US is at 3pm with the final between the Black Sticks and Argentina at 5pm.

- Herald on Sunday

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