13 Oct 2017

Black Sticks men outclassed by Australia

5:54 am on 13 October 2017

The New Zealand men's hockey team have been thumped 5-1 by hosts Australia in their opening match at the Oceania Cup in Sydney.

Mackenzie Wilcox.

The Black Sticks were taught a lesson by the hosts. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

The world number two ranked Kookaburras took a -0 lead into half-time before scoring two goals in each of the third and fourth quarters.

Striker Daniel Harris made his debut for the Black Sticks and scored his side's lone goal through a 57th minute penalty corner.

Head coach Darren Smith says it was a tough challenge with the Kookaburras capitalising on their chances in the attacking circle.

"I thought at times we played some good hockey and our outletting was well controlled, but Australia created opportunities in the circle and were pretty ruthless in their finishing," he said.

"There were a couple of loose goals late in the game which inflated the score line but we certainly need to tidy up parts of our game and put them under more pressure."

The Black Sticks Men next play Papua New Guinea at 5pm on Saturday night (NZ time) before the Black Sticks Women take on the Australia in their second game of the tournament.