Hockey: Australian men take Oceania Cup

Australia have continued their Oceania Cup dominance with a 5-2 win over the men's Black Sticks in Stratford this evening. Photo / Getty Images.
Australia have continued their Oceania Cup dominance with a 5-2 win over the men's Black Sticks in Stratford this evening. Photo / Getty Images.

Australia have continued their Oceania Cup dominance with a 5-2 win over the men's Black Sticks in Stratford this evening.

The tournament was first contested in 1999 and the Australian men have won every edition of the event, which is held every two years.

Australia were the more clinical side throughout the first half at the TET MultiSports Centre as the Kookaburras scored twice before the break to build a lead they would never cough up.

Jason Wilson troubled the scorers first with a sharp finish from an acute angle following some brilliant work from Glenn Turner down the right-hand side of the turf.

That goal gave Australia plenty of confidence and Jacob Whetton netted his first only a few minutes before the split with a nifty touch following a pinpoint long pass from Chris Ciriello.

With a 2-0 lead at halftime, Australia ramped up their stranglehold on the game when Whetton added his second shortly after the break after he deflected a drive in to the circle from Aran Zalewski.

New Zealand looked flat for much of the second spell but Steve Edwards provided some much-needed inspiration with a stunning solo effort mid-way through the half.

Their hopes were of a comeback were short-lived through as Russell Ford thundered home Australia's fourth after he received a pass from Simon Orchard.

A penalty corner from Glenn Simpson gave Australia their fifth in the 64th minute as the home crowd of 2300 were silenced.

The Black Sticks had their share of chances during the game but they were disappointing in front of goal and couldn't make the most of their opportunities.

New Zealand, the world No 5, needed to be better against world No 2 Australia and they will rue their missed chances.

Australia's margin of victory would have been a lot greater had it not been for the work of goalkeeper Hamish McGregor, who was agile in the circle throughout the contest.

With a couple of minutes left, Nick Haig added New Zealand's second from a penalty corner but it mattered little.

Earlier in the day, the women's Black Sticks lost their final 5-4 against Australia in a shoot-out. The scores were locked at 2-2 following regulation time and penalties were needed to decide a winner.

In the third-place playoff encounters, Papua New Guinea's men's side beat Samoa 3-0, while the Samoan women beat PNG 4-3 in a shoot-out after they were level at 0-0 following 70 minutes.

- APNZ

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