Stunning turnaround from Black Sticks Women

By Hockey NZ

The Black Sticks Women put together a terrific performance to down the Hockeyroos 2-0 in game two at the Ford Trans-Tasman Trophy in Auckland.

Following Thursday nights heavy 6-0 loss to the same side, the Kiwis reversed their fortunes and executed a superior game plan particularly on defence.

An excellent second quarter saw the Black Sticks race out to a two goal lead, which proved enough to seal the result and keep the battle for the overall series trophy alive.

Striker Olivia Merry opened the scoring in the 24th minute when she hit home following a silky pass from Kirsten Pearce.

Fellow Cantabrian Rachel McCann then doubled the lead just three minutes later when she smashed a reverse stick shot into the back of the goal.

Head coach Mark Hager said the pain of game one helped spark a resurgence in the group.

"The embarrassment from the other night I think was enough to turn it around for us. We were more aggressive and put pressure on their back four which set us up nicely in the first half," he said.

"We know we were better than that and thankfully we rebounded and showed that tonight, so we need to come out again tomorrow and play well to make sure we stay on the right track."

Earlier, the Black Sticks Men were narrowly defeated 2-1 by the Kookaburras in what was a high quality contest from start to finish.

World number one Australia opened the scoring in the 17th minute when Daniel Beale ran across the face and slipped a ball past goalkeeper George Enersen.

Five minutes out from halftime the Kookaburras extended their advantage to two goals after being awarded a penalty stroke for a judged obstruction in the circle, which Chris Bausor flicked into the roof of the net.

The Black Sticks struck back soon after halftime with impressive young striker Kim Kingstone slotting a fine finish on a great pass across goal from Jacob Smith.

New Zealand fought hard to find an equaliser throughout the remainder of the second half but Australias defence held firm.

Head coach Colin Batch said while another loss was disappointing, his side made a big improvement from game one on Thursday.

"I think we put in a much better performance than game one. They were chasing us more and the added value of that was we created a lot more chances," he said.

"The new players have coped well and I think by in large have shown they can foot it at this level and are playing with confidence.

"Were coming for a win tomorrow theres no doubt about it. Weve shown some progress and we want to carry that over into game three for sure."

Teams are back in action tomorrow with the Black Sticks Men up against the Kookaburras at 4:30pm before the Black Sticks Women take on the Hockeyroos at 6:10pm. Both games will be broadcast live on SKY Sport.

The Ford Trans-Tasman Trophy is proudly supported by Ford, Polytan, Qantas, Educare, Trillian Trust and NZCT.

BLACK STICKS WOMEN 2: (Olivia Merry, Rachel McCann)

HOCKEYROOS 0

Halftime: Black Sticks 2-0

BLACK STICKS MEN 1: (Kim Kingstone)

KOOKABURRAS 2: (Daniel Beale, Chris Bausor)

Halftime: Kookaburras 2-0

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

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