New Zealand's disappointing Champions Trophy campaign ended on a losing note in London today.

Playing off for fifth and sixth spots in the six-team tournament, the Black Sticks were edged out 4-3 by Britain, whom they had beaten 1-0 in round robin play.

That meant the world No 4 Black Sticks leave the tournament with just one win, one draw and four defeats.

They had more shots on goal and circle penetrations than sixth-ranked Britain and could even have snatched a draw, and forced a penalty shootout, four minutes from the end, but Stacey Michelsen's close range shot at a penalty corner hit an upright.


Attacker Gemma Flynn had squandered a glorious opening in the first quarter, however Britain had taken a 3-1 lead early in the second half, after two goals from star striker Alex Danson and one from Lily Owsley.

As with Owsley's backhand shot, New Zealand's first goal, by Anita McLaren was driven between the goalkeeper's legs.

A firm drive from a penalty corner by Olivia Merry, and a neat deflection by Kelsey Smith from another got New Zealand level at 3-3, before Danson completed her hat-trick with a fine individual goal, ending in a sprawl and nudge over advancing goalkeeper Sally Rutherford.

It was Britain's first win in the tournament but as Danson pointed out "what we didn't lose throughout was our belief. It was a fantastic performance".

New Zealand scored 10 goals but conceded 18 in their six matches, far too many.
They were handicapped by the absence for the tournament of senior figures in their defensive planning Emily Gaddum and Sam Charlton, and an injury which sidelined Liz Thompson for the last two matches.

Still there's plenty of work ahead for coaches Mark Hager and Sean Dancer, once the squad for the Rio Olympics is named next week.

Attention now switches to the men's Black Sticks, who start a six-nation tournament in Valencia, against the hosts early on Tuesday, their last significant preparation for Rio.
The United States took the bronze medal with a penalty shootout win over Australia, after the scores were level 2-2.

The Netherlands and Argentina were playing off for gold later this morning.

Hager pointed a finger at defensive frailties as he reflected on a disappointing Champions Trophy campaign.

"We have to tidy up defensively," he said. "You can't give teams a head start then try and chase them all the time. A couple of defensive lapses cost us today.

"That's the rub of the green. We haven't had a good tour and have to regroup and do some soul searching. It's been a big wake up call."

The loss of Gaddum, Charlton and Thompson - who had an MRI scan which revealed no major issues - undermined the defensive strategies.

"That hurt, and we had to reshuffle a bit. Unfortunately it didn't quite gel for us," Hager said.

Hager would not be drawn on whether New Zealand players may have significantly hurt their chances of Olympic selection so soon after the final trophy game.

"We will reassess everything and make decisions from there.

"We want to take the emotion out of it when making these decisions. We kow we have a quality team and have some good players. Unfortunately it was one of those tournaments when things didn't fall our way."
The New Zealand squad arrive home on Wednesday. They have several days off before returning to training.

Hager thinks the players will relax once the Olympic squad is named, and wondered if there had been some anxiety over selection, which may have affected form.

''We're frustrated how we played. All are fixable things but the coaching staff and players all have to make slight adjustments.