15 Oct 2010

Black Sticks men win bronze

6:32 am on 15 October 2010

The New Zealand men's hockey coach Shane McLeod says he couldn't be more proud of his senior players who stood up to take the penalty shots that landed the Black Sticks the bronze medal at the Delhi Commonwealth Games.

The match against England was level at 3-3 after full- and extra-time before the Black Sticks converted all five of their strokes and keeper Kyle Pontifex stopped one of the English shots, low to his right.

McLeod says it's hard to prepare for a shootout and he believes determination got them through.

The result was ironic for New Zealand hockey because the day before the women's Black Sticks dipped out in their gold medal match against Australia when they lost a penalty shootout.

New Zealand had led 3-1 during the second half.

The New Zealand captain Phil Burrows paid credit to his team's defence, and especially to Pontifex.

The bronze is the second games medal for Burrows, Dean Couzins and Hayden Shaw, who were part of the silver medal-winning effort in Manchester in 2002.

England compiled an unenviable record in Delhi. They were not beaten in any match, yet finished out of the medals, after losing penalty shootouts to India and New Zealand.

Australia won the final, beating India 8-0 to continue their dominance at the Games. It's their fourth successive gold medal.