It should have been a win-win day for New Zealand's hockey teams at the Gold Coast Hockey Centre yesterday.
Instead, as coach Mark Hager put it, the women's Black Sticks fluffed their lines to draw 0-0 with unfancied Canada. The men, by contrast, were untroubled to beat South Africa 6-0 for their second win in as many pool matches.
There were two goals for Kane Russell and one apiece for Jaren Panchia, Nic Woods, Nick Ross and George Muir as New Zealand doubled their goal tally in their first two matches.
''We were well aware of their threats and to put out six goals and have a clean sheet is always a good performance,'' midfielder Arun Panchia said last night.
''It's beena little while since we've played osme hockey and so we've focussed on ourselves and make sure we tighten the screws on our game, just to make sure we're performing well.''
Next up New Zealand have Scotland and world No 1 Australia.
''Every game counts so we can't afford to take the foot off the gas.''
Panchia pointed to confidence as the important ingredient for a young team.
''We're a good side with a lot of young talent and it's about putting it out on the field; having the belief we can win games and win well.''
Earlier, the world No 4-ranked women's Black Sticks should have put a bundle of goals past 21st-ranked Canada. But the Canadians played with resolve and New Zealand went away from their plans, perhaps in frustration when the goals didn't eventuate.
They began strongly but the longer the scores stayed locked, the less composed they became.
''Early on I thought we had enough chances," Hager said. "We played all right in the first quarter then we went away from everything we were trying to achieve. We said don't turn it into a game of two ends but we did.
"Give credit to Canada, they put on some pressure and we had to make some good saves.''
New Zealand are still in strong shape but face their biggest challenge so far when they meet world No 5 Australia late tonight.
"Yes this is a big one - maybe the girls were thinking about that rather than this (Canada) game. Hopefully they weren't," Hager admitted.