26 Jun 2015

Black Sticks women upset Australia

6:56 pm on 26 June 2015

The New Zealand womens hockey team remain unbeaten at the World League semi-final tournament in Antwerp after upsetting Australia 2-0 in their latest pool match.

The Black Sticks' player Anita Punt in action.

The Black Sticks' player Anita Punt in action. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

Captain Anita Punt scored from a penalty corner just after half time, while Ella Gunson sealed the game late in the game.

Punt was hugely influential on the game and her 33rd minute strike made her New Zealand's top goal scorer, breaking the previous record of 77 held jointly by Katie Glynn and Krystal Forgesson.

She said it was a typical trans-Tasman battle.

"It was a really tough battle but to come away with the win it's awesome with the girls."

"We just had to keep fighting and we knew it would fall into place for us and it was good to get the two goals."

Black Sticks defender Liz Thompson says experience gained from their regular clashes with Australia certainly helped in their upset win over their trans-tasman rivals.

Wins against Australia don't come often - their last was in 2013.

Thompson, who debuted in that win two years ago, says they've developed a good game plan and their composure allowed them to execute.

"In the past the third and fourth quarter have been a weakness of ours and I think the way we managed them really allowed us to make sure they didn't get in the game and to make sure that everyone in every layer was stepping up and doing their job so I guess we didn't allow that (Australia getting back into the game) to happen."

Australia is ranked second in the world and New Zealand fourth.

New Zealand now top the group and play hosts Belgium in their last pool match.

The top three nations from the 10-team tournament gain automatic qualifying spots for next year's Olympics.

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