Black Sticks men two-from-two after SA rout
An Andy Hayward hat-trick helped the New Zealand men's hockey team crushS outh Africa 5-0 at the World Cup in The Hague overnight.
The Black Sticks were impressive from the opening whistle and again showed steely defence that fed into a well-executed attacking game.
New Zealand were lethal from set pieces with Hayward firing three penalty-corner drag-flicks into the back of the goal and feeding Shea McAleese for another in his 200th test.
It's now two wins from two games for the New Zealand men, who have six points and sit on top of Pool B after the second day of play.
Head coach Colin Batch said the quality of play against the South Africans was pleasing to see.
"It's not often we have clean sheet so that was really pleasing, and we scored our first two penalty corners which certainly gave us an edge and momentum," he said.
"Penalty corners were definitely a focus for us. We've got some good variations and two guys that flick well so we want to utilise that.
"We talk about effort over 70 minutes and you're going to make some errors but we were able to cover them up today. Defence will always be a cornerstone of any success that we have here."
The Black Sticks were on the scoreboard just four minutes into the game with a piece of brilliance from Simon Child who pulled down an aerial cross on his reverse stick before turning and hammering the ball past the South African goalkeeper.
As the Kiwis tightened the screws the pressure led to the first penalty corner of the match 15 minutes into the game.
Hayward stung a powerful flick into the goal before adding another flick low and right of the goalkeeper just two minutes later.
Leading 3-0 at halftime, New Zealand kept the pressure on in the second half as the South Africans battled to keep them out of their defensive circle.
With 19 minutes remaining McAleese put himself in the perfect spot to deflect a drag-flick into goal before Hayward added his third goal of the game just minutes later to make it 5-0.
The Black Sticks Men meet Argentina in their next Pool B game on Friday night (NZ time).
New Zealand 5 (Andy Hayward 3, Simon Child, Shea McAleese) South Africa 0. HT: 3-0.