Black Sticks women to face England in semis
As expected, New Zealand will face England in the Commonwealth Games women's hockey semifinals tomorrow night (NZT) after both sides won their final pool matches today.
The Black Sticks strolled past Canada 6-0, thanks to doubles from Anita Punt and Krystal Forgesson, to boost the team's goal tally to 25 for the tournament.
England, meanwhile, had to work harder to beat hosts Scotland 2-1 to ensure second spot in pool B behind a dominant Australia.
New Zealand made a strong statement early on, with Punt cracking home from the edge of the circle inside the first minute.
But there was frustration within the team that they couldn't hammer home their chances and reach double figures against a team not in the same league.
They led 3-0 at halftime, with Forgesson scoring each side of the break to boost her tournament tally to seven. After Petrea Webster and Kayla Whitelock netted, Punt added her second to match Forgesson's goalscoring haul from their four pool games.
"It'd just be nice to put a few more goals away with the chances we're having," Forgesson said.
"On attack we're not gelling 100 percent. We're creating lots of opportunities but we're not connecting with them all. That's something we have to tidy up."
England haven't been as dominant in recent months, changed their coach and watched New Zealand move past them to No 2 in the Commonwealth.
Coach Mark Hager and his Black Sticks kept a close eye on England's game and while they weren't saying so, they will be confident of dispatching them and booking the long-predicted trans-Tasman gold medal match.
"That's the sort of side they [England] are, they're very tough and dogged and they've got some quality attackers and really key defenders and we're going to have to play really well," Hager said.
"Ours was a pretty good performance, all up. You always want to score more goals but hopefully they will fall in the semifinal. I'm pleased with the amount of opportunities we're creating. that's been a real bonus."
Katie Glynn (forearm) and Whitelock (knee) both took blows during the match but Hager didn't deem their injuries serious.
The team wore black armbands as a mark of respect for Samantha Charlton's best friend's mother, who died in recent days.