The Black Sticks Men have been edged 1-0 despite a valiant performance against world number two the Netherlands in Groningen.

It was a tight defensive game in which New Zealand created good goal scoring opportunities but werent able to put them into the back of the net.

The hosts scored the only goal of the match in the 37th minute with Seve van Ass putting one away from a penalty corner.

The best chance of the game for the Black Sticks came in the opening minute when a great attacking play saw Blair Hilton shoot at goal but hit the cross bar.

Head coach Colin Batch said the way they played against such a strong team was a pleasing way to open the three test series.

"We played a good game defensively, there werent a lot of opportunities for either team. We created more goal scoring chances but need to improve at converting them into goals," he said.

"All in all I think it was a good start to the series for us, we have some things to work on for the next game and going forward to next weeks Six Nations but there are some positive signs."

The Black Sticks have a rest day tomorrow before match two of the series against Netherlands at 4:30am on Friday (NZ time).

Following the Dutch series the Black Sticks head to a Six Nations tournament in Valencia where their opening game is against Spain on Tuesday 28 June at 6am (NZ time).

Hockey New Zealand have arranged for all Black Sticks games at the Six Nations to be streamed LIVE through and


NETHERLANDS 1: (Seve van Ass)

Halftime: 0-0

- This story has been automatically published using a media release from Hockey NZ