The Black Sticks Women have been beaten 6-2 by world number one Netherlands in a tough opening game at the Hockey Champions Trophy in London.
The Dutch built an early two goal lead before New Zealand responded with goals from Charlotte Harrison and Stacey Michelsen either side of halftime to equalise.
Netherlands ran away with the game in the final 20 minutes with four unanswered goals to secure top points on the table. Maartje Paumen poured on four goals, all from penalty corners.
The Black Sticks must now regroup ahead of their next game against trans-Tasman rivals Australia at 3:00am tomorrow morning, with live coverage on SKY Sport 1.
New Zealand started strongly but it was the Dutch who opened the scoring in the 11th minute when Paumen sent a penalty corner flick into the top of the net.
Ella Gunson was yellow carded in the 20th minute and Netherlands capitalised on the 10 player defence, forcing another corner for Paumen to fire home.
Just out from halftime the Black Sticks sparked to life with a great passage of play leading to Kirsten Pearce sending a ball into the circle for Harrison to deflect in on her reverse stick.
The score was levelled in the 36th minute from a penalty corner when the ball deflected up in the air for Michelsen to smash into the back of the goal.
The Black Sticks continued to create chances in the second half but the Dutch grabbed the momentum and put the pedal down with two more penalty corner goals from Paumen, and a Kelly Jonker double.
In other day one results in London, both the Australia vs USA and Argentina vs Great Britain matches ended in 2-2 draws.
BLACK STICKS 2: (Charlotte Harrison, Stacey Michelsen)
NETHERLANDS 6: (Maartje Paumen 4, Kelly Jonker 2)
Halftime: Netherlands 2-1
- This story has been automatically published using a media release from Hockey NZ