The Vantage Black Sticks Men have put together a strong performance despite being beaten 2-0 by hosts Australia in Bendigo.

After Sunday nights 4-0 loss to the world number two ranked Kookaburras, the young Black Sticks side played a much better game in the second of two test matches.

New Zealand played with urgency on defence and continued to create scoring chances but were unable to convert for a second successive game.

Aaron Kleinschmidt opened the scoring for Australia with an 11th minute field goal before Blake Govers secured the result early in the fourth quarter.

Vantage Black Sticks head coach Darren Smith said it was pleasing to see an improvement leading on from the first test.

"It was a much stronger effort from us today. We defended well for much of the match, protected our circle and limited their opportunities," he said.

"We created a lot of opportunities and could have done better there. We had five penalty corners but with all the changes in our PC bracket it was hard to get a rhythm.

"Were really looking forward to heading to Melbourne now with some momentum despite the result, and getting stuck into our first game against Japan on Wednesday."

The Vantage Black Sticks face the world number two ranked Kookaburras, Japan and Pakistan at the International Festival of Hockey from 8-12 November.

All New Zealand games at the International Festival of Hockey will be broadcast live on SKY Sport.

CLICK HERE for more on the International Festival of Hockey


AUSTRALIA: 2 (Aaron Kleinschmidt, Blake Govers)

Halftime: Australia 1-0

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