Black Sticks women rebound to secure bronze

22:36, Aug 02 2014
Martin Knight and Joelle King
Martin Knight plays a stroke, as team-mate Joelle King watches from behind, against England's Peter Barker and Alison Waters in their mixed doubles semifinal.
Li Feng Yang
New Zealand's Li Feng Yang twists and flips during a dive in the men's 10m platform preliminaries in Edinburgh.
Phil Burrows
The contrasting reactions at the final whistle of Raghunath Ramachandra (left) and Phil Burrows as India defeated New Zealand in the men's hockey semifinal.
Silver Ferns
Silver Ferns players celebrate as England's centre walks off the court in tears after their semifinal.
Ellen Halpenny
Goal shoot Ellen Halpenny lines up an attempt at goal during New Zealand's semifinal victory over England.
Laura Langman
Silver Ferns centre Laura Langman leaps high for a pass against England.
Casey Kopua
New Zealand captain Casey Kopua collides with England wing attack Sasha Corbin.
Silver Ferns
Silver Ferns reserves (from left) Anna Harrison, Leana de Bruin and Shannon Francois celebrate their one-point win with wing attack Liana Leota.
Simon Child
Simon Child dives on the turf to knock a pass away from an Indian player.
Nick Haig
Nick Haig scores from a penalty corner to give New Zealand a 2-0 lead against India.
Stephen Edwards
New Zealand's Stephen Edwards flicks the ball between the legs of India's Raghunath Ramachandra.
Black Sticks
Black Sticks players celebrate their first goal against India from Simon Child (left).
Krystal Forgesson
Krystal Forgesson is tackled by South Africa's Lenise Marais.
Sophie Cocks
Sophie Cocks makes a tackle during the Black Sticks' bronze medal victory over South Africa.
Gemma Flynn and Petrea Webster
Gemma Flynn and Petrea Webster in action during a wet bronze medal contest.
Martin Knight and Joelle King
Martin Knight and Joelle King compete in the mixed double squash semifinals against England.
Nick Willis
Nick Willis sprints for the line in the 1500m final.
Nick Willis
Nick Willis and Julian Matthews made up the Kiwi contingent in the 1500m final.
David Nyika
David Nyika tears up on the medal dais after winning gold in the light heavyweight final.
David Nyika
David Nyika with silver medalist Kennedy St Pierre of Mauritius (left) and bronze medalist Sean McGlinchy of Northern Ireland.
David Nyika
David Nyika in action against Kennedy St Pierre of Mauritius in the light heavy gold medal bout.
David Light
Kiwi David Light evades a punch and look to throw a left hook of his own against Samir el-Mais of Canada.
Nick Willis
Nick Willis flies the New Zealand flag after claiming his third Commonwealth Games medal.
Stuart Farquhar
Stuart Farquhar flings the javelin during the men's final at Hampden Park.

Two goals from Jordan Grant have helped the New Zealand women's hockey team to a bronze medal at the Commonwealth Games this morning.

The Black Sticks beat South Africa 5-2 in the playoff for third place to provide some consolation for yesterday's semifinal loss to England.

Black Sticks coach Mark Hager was proud of the way his team lifted despite yesterday's dejection.

Kayla Whitelock
GETTING BRONZED: Captain Kayla Whitelock celebrates one of New Zealand's five goals in a 5-2 victory over South Africa for the women's hockey bronze medal.

''We spoke last night and said 'you're better off going home with a medal than not'.

"We needed to take pride in our performance, we were so disappointed in how we played yesterday. We felt we owed it to ourselves to put in a good performance,'' he said.

''I just don't think we played as a team yesterday. I know the players, that's what they were disappointed about, that not enough people stood up yesterday.

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Black Sticks
SOMETHING TO SMILE ABOUT: Black Sticks players celebrate a goal.

"For whatever reason we were a bit overawed. To be honest we don't play in a lot of... finals, the last final we played in was London [Olympics], which was two years ago.''

New Zealand started well against South Africa, with Anita Punt scoring after six minutes.

Leading 2-1 at the break, there were some concerns as the South Africans fought back to 2-all with 20 minutes to go, before Grant's brace and a goal from Gemma Flynn made the game safe.

The only blight on the game was a nasty gash around the eye to Petrea Webster after she copped a South African stick to the face.

''She's got some stitches, that's normal for Petrea, she's one of those players who puts her head where it shouldn't go,'' Hager said.

''To be honest we probably need more of those sort of players, if we want to win the big games, that are prepared to throw themselves at balls or in situations where you know you are going to get hurt.''

Conditions at the Glasgow National Hockey Centre became increasingly difficult as torrential rain fell for the first time during these Commonwealth Games.

With water starting to pool on the pitch, officials even considered stopping the game.

Black Sticks captain Kayla Whitelock said the water made life difficult for the players.

''It was pretty bad, the turf holds the water quite a lot so it is quite hard to play on and you've just got to get lift on the ball really and I think we did that in the second half,'' she said.

''We talked about it at halftime [that] we can't use our skills as much, we've just go to jink it in behind and that's how that last goal came off.''

Whitelock was pleased her team was able to finish the Games on a high note, despite missing out on the chance to play for a gold medal.

''We had to come out and play aggressive and we didn't want to go away with no medal. The motivation was to go out there right from the start and be aggressive. South Africa held on for quite a while and I thought if we got one up on them we'd pile the goals on and we did,'' Whitelock said.

''I thought our connections in the attacking 25m were a lot better than yesterday. There was a lot more confidence and strong receives and our basics were a lot better. The girls worked really hard and chased back and denied them from penetrating us.''

New Zealand 5 (Anita Punt 6min, Krystal Forgesson 26min, Jordan Grant 55min, Gemma Flynn 62min, Grant 68min)

South Africa 2 (Marsha Cox 24min, Kathleen Taylor 49min)

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