26 Jun 2012

Black Sticks beaten again

2:39 pm on 26 June 2012

The New Zealand men's hockey team has been beaten 4-1 by Australia in the third and final test in Cairns.

The Black Sticks were beaten 6-1 and 5-1 in the first two tests.

Coach Shane McLeod says his side had improved with each game played in this series, but there is still a lot of work to do over the next month as they build to the London Olympics.

McLeod says he thought both sides were relatively even and competitive in the first half, but in the second they lapsed concentration and ended up on the back foot.

Black Sticks goalkeeper Kyle Pontifex played his 150th test match after debuting in 2001 against Malaysia.

The teams have been practicing penalty shootouts at the end of each test match as part of their build-up to the Olympics. Australia won the first one, the second was drawn and the Black Sticks won Monday night's one 4-0.