The Australian men's hockey team have beaten New Zealand 3-1 in their pool match at the Oceania Cup in Stratford.
The tournament doubles as an Olympic qualifier. The two teams will meet again in Sunday's final - which the hosts must win if they want to get to Rio.
The Kookaburras led 1-0 at half-time with Jamie Dwyer scoring the first goal after little more than a minute.
And the visitors were up 2-0 to Tom Craig, before a late goal to Hugo Inglis gave the Black Sticks some hope.
But the visitors scored again quickly through Glenn Turner to put the contest out of reach.
Black Sticks veteran midfielder Simon Child's hopeful they can improve enough by then to beat the world No.1s.
"Not the result we were after but plenty of positives, plenty for us to go back in and have a look at the video... we created a lot of chances and if we could put one or two of those away, particularly around the penalty corner time, then we'll be all right in the game, and give ourselves a good chance on Sunday."
Black Sticks stars Shea McAleese, Phil Burrows and Andy Hayward are all unavailable for the series due to European club commitments.
Both the New Zealand and Australia women have already qualified, but valuable world ranking points are still on the line in their series.