Black Sticks men to host Pakistan for five tests

Simon Child and Nick Wilson launch an attack for New Zealand.
PHOTOSPORT

Simon Child and Nick Wilson launch an attack for New Zealand.

The Black Sticks men's hockey team will play Pakistan in five tests in New Zealand next month.

The series, which is the Black Sticks' first action in 2017, will see three tests at the National Hockey Stadium in Wellington ( March 17, 18, 20) and two games at Clareville in the Wairarapa  (March 22 and 23).

The tests come on the heels of the appointment of  former Kiwi international Darren Smith as new head coach of the men's programme.

Meanwhile, the Black Sticks women were beaten 3-0 by Argentina in their third test in Buenos Aires on Friday (NZ time).

After beating Argentina 1-0 on Wednesday, the Black Sticks couldn't match the speed and tempo of their hosts who now lead the six-test series 2-1.

The Black Sticks again created some strong chances but weren't able to put them into the back of the goal.

"It was a frustrating game today, we didn't pay attention to some of the little details and allowed Argentina to dictate to us," New Zealand assistant coach Sean Dancer said.

"Playing a top tier team you need to be at the top of your game and today we lacked the quality of basics in our tackling and ball control under pressure.

"We have a quick turnaround ahead of tomorrow's fourth game so the girls will do their recovery and scouting to ensure we go into the challenge on the front foot."

Argentina made a fast start and ran out to an early lead in just the fourth minute when Maria Granatto deflected into goal from close range.

The hosts doubled their advantage midway through the second quarter with Eugenia Trinchinetti capitalising on a loose ball in the circle.

Argentina sealed the result from a 36th minute penalty corner which Delfina Merino crashed into goal after an initial save.

The Black Sticks go up against Argentina in test four at 10am Saturday (NZ time). 

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