There's no doubt this tour has been a challenging one for this Vantage Black Sticks Men's team who were looking to blood some new players and gain insights as preparation for the Tokyo Olympics and the Odisha Men's World Cup in India on the near horizon in November.

New Zealand faced Germany for the first time since the 2016 Rio Olympics looking to end the Japan leg of the tour well, but knowing the world #5 ranked Germans would be a difficult undertaking. And so it was to be.The efficient Germans started strongly with 2 goals in the first quarter, to Marco Miltkau in the 9th minute and Tom Grambusch in the 15th minute, to put the Kiwis on the back foot despite some good play from the Black Sticks, who were unable to turn pressure into goals.

New Zealand got one back straight after the break with a Stephen Jenness field goal in the 16th minute, however the second quarter saw the Germans apply the pressure forcing a barrage of corners. The slick European side scored a further 2 goals, another to Grambusch and a Florian Fuchs field goal to make it 4-1, before PC king Kane Russell pegged one back for the Black Sticks.

With the score 4-2 to Germany at half time, the Kiwi side were still in the hunt but knew they were in for a battle to get back into the match and it proved to be with a blistering 3rd quarter from the Germans adding another three goals without reply in a devastating four minute onslaught.

Facing a 5 goal deficit with a quarter to go, the Vantage Black Sticks were looking down the barrel of another defeat on this tour. To their credit, the team dug deep in the final 15 minutes and rallied with two goals, a Dominic Newman field goal (53') and another from Stephen Jenness (60') to finish the match with a 7-4 loss.

"It's been a testing time for us, five games in eight days, and really hot weather, but we have to take it on the chin, take on the challenge, choose to be optimistic and be a bit better next time", said Bryce Collins, Assistant Coach.

"We need to review the game and make the most of the time to refocus and transition well as we head to Bangalore to play India who will be a different kind of challenge, fresh off their recent results at the Champions Trophy".

CLICK HERE for more on the Black Sticks tour of Japan and India including the full itinerary
CLICK HERE for details of the the full Vantage Black Sticks Men's touring squad

VANTAGE BLACK STICKS: 4 (Stephen Jenness 16' and 60', Kane Russell 28', Dominic Newman 53' )

GERMANY : 7 (Marco Miltkau 9', Tom Grambusch 15' and 19', Florian Fuchs 24' and 41', Dieter Linnekogel 44', Niklas Wellen 45'

Half Time: GER 4-2

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