Andy Hayward.
Andy Hayward.

Kookaburras lose 3-0 to New Zealand

A HISTORIC 3-0 win over Australia opened the Black Sticks men's Oceania Cup campaign in Hobart.

The last time that the Black Sticks beat Australia was in 1999 at an Oceania Cup Qualifier in Brisbane, where they won 3-2.

The Black Sticks were 1-0 up at half time thanks to Hugo Inglis.

Inglis stole the ball from an Australian defender outside the circle and, with a superb reverse stick, shot into the roof of the net giving the Australian goalkeeper no chance of making a save.

Kyle Pontifex, in goal for the Black Sticks, made some crucial saves from Australian penalty corners and the Kiwi defence held firm to go into the break with a 1-0 lead.

The second half saw a fired up Australian side come out determined to make an impact on the scoreboard.

The Black Sticks defence, led by Pontifex, saved four penalty corners in the first 10 minutes of the second half.

With 15 minutes to go, the Black Sticks were awarded their first penalty corner and Andy Hayward converted a well executed drag flick to take the lead to 2-0.

On a second penalty corner with nine minutes to go Andy Hayward again scoring from a drag flick.

Black Sticks coach Shane McLeod was very pleased with the win.

He said the team's work rate and intensity was outstanding.

The discipline and team work that kept the world's number one ranked team scoreless was very pleasing, he said.

It was Simon Child's 150th international test cap last night.

Stand out players were Kyle Pontifex, Hugo Inglis, Shea McAleese and Steve Edwards.

Tomorrow is a rest day with the Black Sticks Men playing their next game at 5pm (NZ time) on Saturday.


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