10 Oct 2011

Black Sticks men beaten in final match

5:37 am on 10 October 2011

The New Zealand men's hockey team were outplayed in the third and final test of the Oceania Cup in Hobart going down 6-1 to Australia, handing the series victory to the Kookaburras in the process.

The Australian team, who retained their world number one ranking, needed to win by four goals or more, following a surprise 3-0 defeat in the first game of the series and a 3-3 draw in the second.

The Black Sticks defence played hard but were unable to contain the Kookaburras who played with an intensity not seen in the opening two matches of the series, the Australians going into the break 3-nil up.

New Zealand came out with a renewed intensity in the second spell and created a number of scoring opportunities but were unable to breach the Kookaburra defence.

An opportunist goal following a scrappy passage of play in the goal mouth took the score to 4-0 with 28 minutes remaining in the half.

Australia scored another two unanswered goals before New Zealand finally got on the scoreboard through a penalty stroke conversion from Black Sticks captain Phil Burrows.

With the score ending up 6-1 to Australia, the Kookaburras retain the Oceania Cup on goal difference following the first test being won by New Zealand and the second test being drawn.

Both teams have qualified for next year's London Olympics, with two teams from Oceania now given automatic qualification.