The Black Sticks are happy to see the back of Australia and relieved they will not meet the men's hockey world champions in pool play at the Olympics.
New Zealand are currently ranked six places below the Kookaburras and that gulf equated to a 15-3 aggregate score line over three tests just completed in Cairns.
Australia, despite having four Games-bound players sidelined throughout the series with injury, still overpowered the Black Sticks with ease, although coach Shane McLeod thought the 6-1, 5-1 and 4-1 defeats were not quite representative of the effort his squad put in.
But there was no quibble with the Kookaburra's ruthlessness once they preyed on New Zealand's inaccuracy.
"We'd be playing well in the series and were competitive with them, then we'd pay the price is we made mistakes or tried to slow the tempo," McLeod lamented.
The final clash in Cairns last night proved McLeod's point. The Black Sticks held the majority of possession in the first half but could not break down a committed defence so rarely ventured into the goal circle.
Black Sticks goalkeeper Kyle Pontifex, in his 150th international, was predictably stretched at the other end of the field but kept the Kookaburras at bay until the stroke of halftime.
The veteran stopper did well to block the Australians first penalty corner, two other set pieces were also repelled but Kieran Govers swept the ball home to initiate a scoring spree that continued after the break.
Three field goals in six minutes after the resumption had New Zealand facing another heavy defeat but they avoided any further damage and had the final say when Nick Wilson recorded his second consolation goal of the series in the final 60 seconds.
New Zealand arrived in Australia buoyed by lifting the Azlan Shah Cup in Malaysia for the first time but were soon brought back to earth - and McLeod was grateful for the opportunity.
"For our guys at this point in time, there's nothing better to keep you grounded than a series against Australia. They certainly put a lot of pressure on you and punish you if you don't do the right things.
"It was hugely worthwhile. We knew they would test our game and we discovered a couple of new things about how they play as well. Whether you can do much about it is another thing," he admitted.
New Zealand has only beaten the Kookaburras twice since 1999, most recently in the first leg of the Oceania Olympic qualifying tournament in Tasmania last October. They drew the next game and then crashed to a 6-1 defeat.
McLeod was not exactly anticipating another trans-Tasman encounter in London.
"Things are going pretty well if we play Australia at the Olympics, it would be in a semifinal or later," he said.
Although his players might have been might have been mentally scarred by their latest ordeal at least they emerged unscathed physically.
There were no injury concerns and encouragingly Stephen Edwards, who missed the Azlan Shah tournament with a groin strain, and Ryan Archibald - who only played half the matches in Malaysia as he managed an Achilles injury - suffered no fresh concerns.
The Black Sticks next head to Belgium for matches against their hosts and the Netherlands between July 7-17. They are both obstacles to New Zealand progressing to the medal rounds along with South Korea, India and Germany.
Third test result:
Australia 4 (Kieran Govers, Des Abbott, Glenn Turner, Matt Gohdes) New Zealand 1 (Nick Wilson). HT: 1-0
- © Fairfax NZ News
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