Hockey: Black Sticks set up Australia showdown

By David Leggat

Anita Punt scored twice in the Black Sticks' drubbing of Korea. Photo / Getty
Anita Punt scored twice in the Black Sticks' drubbing of Korea. Photo / Getty

New Zealand warmed up for another clash with close rivals Australia at the Hawkes Bay Festival in Hastings with a 6-0 drubbing of South Korea today.

The fourth-ranked Black Sticks are unbeaten after four games at the eight-nation tournament, having beaten India, China and Ireland before yesterday's quarter-final.

Korea, ranked ninth, were swept aside in a strong first half performance, during which New Zealand established a 3-0 lead.

Rachel McCann set up Olivia Merry for the first goal after nine minutes; Sophie Cocks got the second after a length of the field run, when set clear by Anita Punt; while Punt increased the advantage when she whipped a low shot into the Korean goal from New Zealand's first penalty corner.

Sam Charlton added the fourth 13 minutes from the end with a neat reverse stick shot from the top of the circle before goals in the final minute by Punt, from another penalty corner, and Pippa Hayward rounded off a strong performance.

World No 3 Australia, who had finished second in their pool on goal difference, made their semifinal spot safe with a 3-0 win over Ireland today, while Japan and China square off in the other semi on Saturday.

Tenth-ranked Japan beat India 3-1 while No 5 China edged past Canada 1-0.

- NZ Herald

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