13 Dec 2016

First up win for Black Sticks over Malaysia

5:44 am on 13 December 2016

The New Zealand women's hockey team has beaten Malaysia 3-0 in the first of five tests at the TET MultiSports Centre in Stratford.

First half goals were scored by Sam Harrison, Michaela Curtis and Amy Robinson.

Black Sticks player Natasha Fitzsimons.

Black Sticks player Natasha Fitzsimons. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

Brooke Roberts, Pippa Norman, Tarryn Davey, Phoebe Steele, Catherine Tinning, Amy Robinson, Frances Davies and Ginny Wilson all made their international debut.

Black Sticks assistant coach Sean Dancer said there were some good signs from the youngsters but still plenty to improve on during the series.

"We had a lot of new players tonight so there was plenty of nervous energy but also excitement which was great to see," he said.

"It was a good first half from us which we dominated and created a lot of pressure. We fell away a bit in the second half so we know what needs to be worked on ahead of game two."

New Zealand began the game with high intensity and opened the scoring in the sixth minute when Harrison knocked in from a penalty corner.

Curtis doubled the lead 10 minutes later with a tidy finish on a good phase of play up the field.

Midlands youngster Robinson then scored her first ever goal for the Black Sticks from a top drawer piece of aggressive attack.

Neither side could add to the score in the second half as Malaysia improved on defence and caused some trouble for New Zealand on the ball.

New Zealand is ranked five in the world and Malaysia 21st.

The two sides meet again tonight.