The New Zealand men's hockey side will go to the Olympics with plenty on their minds after a third-straight heavy defeat to Australia last night.

The Black Sticks had gone into the three-match series on a high after winning the recent Azlan Shah tournament for the first time but lost all three heavily - 6-1, 5-1 and 4-1.

Australia are the world champions and clear favourites for gold in London but coach Shane McLeod expected more from his side after their recent results.

They played well in the first half in an even contest but conceded right on halftime when Kieran Govers converted the third penalty corner of the night.


The game was effectively over inside eight minutes of the restart as the Kookaburras piled on three more goals. Des Abbott was gifted a goal after an easy turnover, Glenn Turner scored a great individual effort a minute later and Russell Ford capitalised as Australia went for the jugular.

It might have been a lot worse if goalkeeper Kyle Pontifex, playing his 150th international, hadn't made a number of top-class saves as Australia found their rhythm.

Nick Wilson ensured the Black Sticks ended on a good note when he latched onto a great pass from Hugo Inglis to score two minutes from time but the damage had already been done.

The Black Sticks return home before they head to Europe on July 6 for their final Olympic preparations.

Australia 4 (Kieran Govers, Des Abbott, Glenn Turner, Russell Ford) New Zealand 1 (Nick Wilson). HT: 1-0.