Black Sticks up their game in hard-fought draw

FRED WOODCOCK
Last updated 05:00 26/02/2013

Relevant offers

Other Sports

Bad break for triathlete Andrea Hewitt in China Villumsen ninth at world road cycling champs James Oram eyeing a top-10 finish in road race Rising star 'Super Samoan' puzzles UFC boss Ravens owner 'deeply sorry' over Ray Rice issue Doping days done as China targets top event Fury gags himself ahead of 'Battle of Britain' James Oram records top 10 at world champs Quiz: Sports knowledge test - September 23 Kent digs in at world surf lifesaving champs

New Zealand women's hockey coach Mark Hager has cause for encouragement.

An improved defensive effort and greater discipline led the Black Sticks to a 1-1 draw in the second test against Olympic silver medallists Argentina in the city of Rosario.

Well-beaten 4-1 in the first test on Sunday, New Zealand were much tighter defensively and despite them missing several chances to beat their more accomplished hosts, Hager saw enough to suggest the five-match series against the world's second-ranked team is well and truly alive.

"It was a much improved and more disciplined performance, particularly our penalty corner defence," Hager said.

"We still missed some chances that would have won us the game, but hopefully we can really make the most of our opportunities [tomorrow].

The Black Sticks went behind to an early Noel Barrionuevo penalty stroke but drew level three minutes before halftime through Stacey Michelsen, who took a cracking reverse stick shot, which the goalkeeper initially saved before Michelsen pounced on the rebound. A scoreless second half was characterised by solid defence and the timely return of first-choice goalkeeper Bianca Russell who had not played since the London Olympics.

The third of five matches in the series is tomorrow.

Ad Feedback

- Stuff

Special offers
Opinion poll

Who would you most like to come to your aid after a road accident?

Mike Tyson - boxing

Lewis Hamilton - motorsport

Maria Sharapova - tennis

Valerie Adams - shot put

The Undertaker - WWE

Lindsey Vonn - skiing

Ana Ivanovic - tennis

Steven Adams - basketball

Rory McIlroy - golf

Vote Result

Related story: (See story)

Featured Promotions

Sponsored Content