26 Jan 2018

Black Sticks romp Japan

6:10 am on 26 January 2018

The Black Sticks put on a goal scoring clinic in their 6-2 win over Japan at the University of Waikato Four Nations in Hamilton.

New Zealand's Hugo Inglis celebrates scoring a goal.

The Black Sticks celebrate scoring a goal. Photo: Photosport Ltd 2018 www.photosport.nz

New Zealand scored twice in the first half before pouring on four more in a frenetic second half against a determined Japan side.

Stephen Jenness scored a brilliant double while Harry Miskimmin, Dane Lett, George Muir and Marcus Child also added to the card with strikes all certain to make the highlights reel.

Head coach Darren Smith said it was good to put together a solid overall performance along with some well-constructed goals.

"I thought we had control over large parts of the game tonight but Japan still tested us out and are a very capable side," he said.

"We created some great opportunities and worked well especially through the midfield, and the pleasing part was how we were able to finish a lot of those chances.

After an evenly matched opening quarter, New Zealand struck first in stunning style with Harry Miskimmin carrying the ball into the circle before unleashing a crushing reverse stick shot into the side of the goal.

The Black Sticks doubled their advantage through a penalty corner just out from halftime when Dane Lett got the final shot past the goalkeeper.

Late in the third quarter the Kiwis opened a three goal buffer when Jared Panchia put a perfect ball into the circle for George Muir to send the ball into the roof of the net.

The final 10 minutes of play saw the game lift to an incredible tempo with Stephen Jenness scoring a quick-fire double and Marcus Child delivering a cracking upright reverse to seal the victory.

Japan managed two late goals through Koji Yamasaki and Hirotaka Wakuri to pull back some pride on the score board.

In today's earlier clash, India snatched a late 5-4 win over Belgium in an absorbing encounter which went goal for goal throughout the match.