New Zealand managed an improved performance, and an improved result in their second women's hockey international against Spain in Barcelona today.

Having lost the first test 2-1, today's 1-1 draw marked a step up for the world No 5-ranked team.

Spain, as they did in the first international, began strongly and went ahead in the 15th minute through Berta Bonastre.

The Black Sticks were back on level terms just before halftime, when attacker Sam Harrison scored a field goal.

Advertisement

The second half display was better from New Zealand, and they gave the Spanish defence some problems but couldn't break through.

For assistant coach Sean Dancer there was a noticable lift in New Zealand's play.

''It was good to see our girls work harder today and lift the level of our play," he said.

"It's still not the standard we know is required but we are moving in the right direction.

''Spain have developed into a top level team and we are looking forward to the challenge of the next game to level the series."

Game three in the five-match series is on Wednesday morning (NZT). The series is a lead-in to the world league semifinal in Brussels, starting on June 21.