7 May 2015

Black Sticks beaten by Australia

12:37 pm on 7 May 2015

The Australian men's hockey team avenged their loss to the Black Sticks at the recent Sultan Azlan Shah Cup final with a 3-0 win in the Hobart Challenge in Tasmania.

The Black Sticks captain Simon Child.

The Black Sticks captain Simon Child. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

Two first half goals had the Kookaburras on the front foot while the Black Sticks found it difficult to battle back against a hard-nosed defence.

Australia controlled the first half with their opening goal coming in the 13th minute when Chris Ciriello converted from a penalty corner.

Ten minutes later they doubled their lead after a field goal from Kiel Brown sent the hosts into halftime with a 2-0 advantage.

Midway through the third quarter Australia had success again from a penalty corner, this time Jeremy Hayward flicking into the back of goal.

Head coach Colin Batch said it was a typically tough game against the world champions.

"It was a difficult game for us tonight and Australia were pretty dominant," Batch said.

"They showed the benefit of having already played two tests in the past few days and were on top of their game. Australia forced a lot of turnovers and limited our opportunities on attack."

"We need to work on our outletting and shifting the ball through the midfield, and make sure we are prepared to get a good result in our next game."

Striker Jared Panchia travelled with the team to Hobart in place of Shay Neal who was a last-minute withdrawal due to injury.

The Black Sticks have a day of training and planning today before playing Pakistan at 9pm on Thursday night (NZ time).

The International Challenge is preparation for the World League Semi-Final in Argentina next month, where the Black Sticks have an opportunity to qualify for the 2016 Rio Olympics.

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