19 Apr 2015

Black Sticks to play Australia in final

9:23 am on 19 April 2015

The New Zealand women's hockey team will play Australia in tonight's final at the Hawke's Bay Cup international tournament in Hastings after beating South Korea 4-nil in last night's semi-final.

New Zealand hockey player Gemma Flynn

New Zealand hockey player Gemma Flynn Photo: PHOTOSPORT

The win over Korea was a commanding performance from the Black Sticks and coach Mark Hager says he hopes it can be repeated in tonight's final.

"I think it's the best we have played since the London Olympics as a collective unit for the four quarters. From Georgia Barnett in goal right through to the strikers, it was a good effort from all the girls," said Hager.

Olivia Merry, Gemma Flynn and Petrea Webster were the goal scorers tonight, but it was truly a team effort with some great defence that kept South Korea scoreless.

"It was good to see that our strikers were so clinical in front of goal and put their chances away. I think the energy was there tonight and that helped us up front."

It was a dream start for New Zealand who had two goals on the scoreboard by the 12th minute, with Merry and then Flynn scoring in swift succession.

After a period of sustained pressure, New Zealand were rewarded when Flynn passed to Merry who was perfectly positioned on the post to tap it in.

A minute later, Flynn was in a similar position in front of the goal receiving a terrific cross from recent recruit Kirsten Pearce who knocked it over the line.

After the half time break, the Black Sticks were awarded their fourth penalty corner of the game and North Harbour's Petrea Webster stretched her team's lead to 3-0 thanks to a successful variation.

The fourth goal came in the 50th minute, and it was textbook hockey from the Black Sticks. Anita Punt turned the ball over in Korea's half, ran the ball into the circle, passed to Flynn who swiftly crossed it to Webster waiting on the line.

Tonight's final, which starts at 6:45pm, will also be the 200th test for the Black Sticks captain Anita Punt.

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