Australia too good for Black Sticks in Argentina

BRENDON EGAN
Last updated 12:37 04/12/2013

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The Black Sticks' women face the daunting prospect of the Netherlands in the quarterfinals of the World League hockey tournament after a 5-1 thumping by Australia today.

New Zealand, who lost their opening two pool games, needed a victory over their trans-Tasman rivals to avoid finishing bottom of the group.

Australia took a 2-1 lead into halftime and scored a crucial strike early into the second half through Kellie White to give them a two goal buffer.

The Hockeyroos have made a promising start to the World League final tournament thrashing China and drawing against hosts Argentina in their first two games.

They went ahead after 10 minutes after the ball fell perfectly to Georgie Parker right in front of the goal, who tapped it in.

New Zealand replied straight back through their first penalty corner of the game when midfielder Petrea Webster got a faint touch on Anita Punt's drag flick.

Australia capitalised when New Zealand's Pippa Hayward was off the turf with a green card, building a 2-1 advantage, with Ashleigh Nelson netting from a deflection.

They guaranteed the win when Jodie Schulz struck with a pinpoint strike from a penalty corner in the 55th minute to blow it out to 4-1.

White added to New Zealand woes late in the contest with a powerful reverse stick effort for her second goal of the game.

Australia's win followed on from last month's success at the Oceania Cup tournament in Stratford, where they beat the Black Sticks in the final in a shootout.

New Zealand now have a mountain to climb to move onto the top four stage of the tournament with Olympic gold medallists, the Netherlands, awaiting in Friday's quarterfinal.

The Netherlands have looked the team to beat at the World League final tournament so far, winning all three of their group games, while racking up 12 goals.

The Black Sticks are fielding a weakened squad at the World League finals with experienced campaigners Katie Glynn and Stacy Michelsen both recovering from knee injuries and 225-cap defender Emily Naylor remaining back in New Zealand.

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- Fairfax Media

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