16 Aug 2016

Olympics: Black Sticks women beat Australia 4-2

7:22 am on 16 August 2016

Rio 2016 Olympics - The New Zealand women's hockey team are into the semifinals in style after thoroughly beating Australia.

New Zealand's Kelsey Smith (2nd R) clebrates her goal with teammates during the the women's quarterfinal field hockey New Zealand vs Australia match of the Rio 2016 Olympics Games at the Olympic Hockey Centre in Rio de Janeiro on August 15, 2016.

New Zealand's Kelsey Smith (2nd R) celebrates her goal with teammates. Photo: AFP

The Black Sticks scored early in the first quarter when Anita McClaren flicked one into the top corner from a penalty.

They scored again in the second half after Kelsey Smith got a deflection into the back of the net.

The Australians got one back in the third quarter but New Zealand scored again after Gemma Flynn smacked the ball into the goal from close range.

Olivia Merry scored New Zealand's fourth in the final quarter, though Australia got one back in the second to last minute.

The final score was 4-2.

Look back on RNZ's live coverage here.

New Zealand will now look to make their first ever gold medal match when they face either Great Britain or Spain in the semifinals on Thursday.

"To come out with the win, it's amazing against a quality side - and they put everything out there," said McLaren.

"We didn't get phased by any of the physical, or anything, we just played our game.

"This whole year we've been getting the chances, we've been creating so many opportunities but it just hasn't been falling. To start getting these goals in there now, it's great."

Captain Kayla Whitelock said the team was "just starting to click".

"Things are working well for us," she said. "We're working hard, we're chasing hard, we're doing all the things that we talked about and it's paying off.

"We know the job's not done. We can't just rest on our laurels here and think, just because we had a good one in our quarterfinals it's going to happen in the semis.

"If we keep playing the way we're playing, believing in ourselves and having the confidence, and executing our game plan then that's going to get us through to that [gold] medal match."

Coach Mark Hager said the forward line worked hard to give the team a lot of good opportunities.

"We've got to be happy with the return today, and defensively I thought we were very good back there.

"I think maybe they scored one off a rebound and maybe we could've cleared that a little bit better but in the end, you know, doesn't matter now."

The Black Sticks women drew 1-1 with world champions the Netherlands in their previous game to secure their place in the finals, after winning two games and losing one in pool play.

Australia's Georgina Morgan (L) shoots in front of New Zealand's Petrea Webster (R) during the the women's quarterfinal field hockey New Zealand vs Australia match of the Rio 2016 Olympics Games at the Olympic Hockey Centre in Rio de Janeiro on August 15, 2016.

Australia's Georgina Morgan and New Zealand's Petrea Webster during the the women's hockey quarterfinal. Photo: AFP

- RNZ

Get the new RNZ app

for ad-free news and current affairs

We have regular online commentary of local and international sport.