The Vantage Black Sticks Women scored close to the final whistle to secure a 1-1 draw with trans-Tasman rivals Australia at the Vantage Festival of Hockey.

Australia came out of the blocks strongly and opened the scoring in the 11th minute through a Laura Barden goal.

The Hockeyroos controlled play in the first half to go into the break with a one goal lead, but the Vantage Black Sticks held more possession and territory in the second spell.

It took until the 58th minute for the Black Sticks to equalise when a great run through the middle of the Australian defence by Olivia Merry led to a deflection in front of goal which Sam Harrison put into the net.

Vantage Black Sticks head coach Mark Hager said the performance from his side was better following Fridays loss to Japan.

"We have some new players in the squad and they are still learning to play at international level. Our players need to show more aggression and develop more belief in their ability."

After two rounds Japan tops the table with two wins, Australia are second with two draws and New Zealand and the USA have one draw each.

With a rest day tomorrow, the Kiwis are back in action against USA at 6pm on Monday night.

VANTAGE BLACK STICKS 1: (Sam Harrison)

HOCKEYROOS 1: (Laura Barden)

Halftime: Australia 1-0


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