Black Sticks beat India in fourth test of women's hockey test series in Hamilton

Rachel McCann scored twice against India in the fourth test of their women's international hockey series in Hamilton.
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Rachel McCann scored twice against India in the fourth test of their women's international hockey series in Hamilton.

A scoreless second half has left the Black Sticks with plenty to work on for their final match of the series against India.

The New Zealand women's hockey side scored a 3-0 victory over the tourists in Hamilton on Friday - their fourth consecutive win from as many matches.

But there's still distinct room for improvement when the two teams play the final game of the five-test series at the same Gallagher Hockey Centre venue on Saturday.

The home side dictated terms throughout the 60 minutes, with the first-half in particular being one-way traffic.

READ MORE: Black Sticks secure series win

But some tactical changes from India at halftime made them a tougher proposition in the latter stages as the Black Sticks lost a lot of fluency to their attacking moves.

New Zealand pinned India deep in their own territory from the opening whistle on Friday - it took four minutes before the tourists got possession of the ball in their attacking half.

Yet with a stacked defence, they still proved hard for New Zealand to convert their near-total dominance of possession into shots on goal.

Amy Robinson's penetrative dribbling did cause India problems however and she created NZ's opening goal in the 15th minute when Rachel McCann deflected her cross from close range.

After an attacking penalty corner broke down, NZ netted their second when Tessa Jopp got a faint touch to an Ella Gunson shot, and the hosts' third came from McCann following a rapid counter-attack after India had their first penalty corner in the 20th minute.

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"I thought our structure was a lot better today - I was pleased with how we moved and held the ball," NZ coach Sean Dancer said.

"India played well in defence and certainly improved in the second half, but we were still able to score some really good goals.

"Going into the final test, we aren't about to take our foot off the gas. Our style is to be aggressive and we will keep pushing to get better."

     

 - Stuff

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