The Black Sticks Women have drawn 2-2 with hosts Argentina in the first of six tests at Mar del Plata.

It was a swift start from the Kiwis who opened the scoring thanks to an Olivia Merry goal in the 10th minute.

Argentina responded three minutes later with Noel Barrionuevo finding the back of the net to level the score.

In her first international game since the 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games, Kayla Whitelock signalled her comeback with a solid performance.


Whitelock showed her class with a world class finish on her reverse stick to score New Zealand's second goal just before halftime.

Argentina equalised again in the 43rd minute, with neither side able to find a game winner in the fourth quarter.

Black Sticks assistant coach Sean Dancer said it was a pleasing effort in his side's first test of the year.

"We played pretty well today, both teams had chances to win the game but it's a good starting point for us going forward," he said.

"Both Kayla and Emily [Naylor] had solid hit-outs and it's very exciting to see them back in the black singlet."

Both teams meet again in the second test at 11am on Friday morning (NZ time).

The Argentina series is an important part of the team's build-up to the Hawke's Bay Cup in April, FIH Champions Trophy in June and Rio Olympic Games in August.