6 Dec 2015

Black Sticks women win

12:47 pm on 6 December 2015

The New Zealand women's hockey team have made the perfect start to the FIH World League tournament, beating Korea 3-1 in their opening game in Argentina.

The Black Sticks Gemma Flynn in action.

The Black Sticks Gemma Flynn in action. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

An early goal from Pippa Hayward was backed up by goals from Kirsten Pearce and Gemma Flynn in the second half.

The Black Sticks had 17 shots at goal compared to Korea's five.

Goalkeeper Sally Rutherford, who was playing her 100th international Test, said it was ideal to come out with a win on day one.

"It's always important to get the three points - particularly in the first game, it gives you confidence going into the next couple," said Rutherford.

They came out firing in the first quarter and it was Hayward who got them on the scoreboard in the fourth minute.

She calmly took a reverse stick shot from the top of the circle which went high to the keeper's right.

Haywards's goal was backed up by opportunities from Flynn and Olivia Merry, who were both given a chance to extend the lead, but it wasn't to be.

The second quarter wasn't as compelling for New Zealand.

New Zealand were called on to defend Korea's quick counter-attack, Rutherford superbly saved a penalty corner, and Korea's best chance ricocheted off the goal post.

In the third quarter the Black Sticks were back in the game, Pearce received a pass from Merry and low to the ground she pushed it over the line to double the lead.

In the final spell, the New Zealanders executed a clinical penalty corner - captain Anita Punt flicked to Flynn who was waiting on the post to deflect it in and give her side a 3-0 lead.

Korea's Jung Eun Seo scored a field goal with two minutes left to play.

New Zealand's next game is against the Netherlands at 8.30am Monday, NZ time.