New Zealand women fall to Britain in San Diego

Last updated 14:03 12/02/2014

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The New Zealand women's hockey team has let slip a halftime lead to lose their opening match of the Three-Nations tournament in San Diego today.

The Black Sticks led Britain 1-0 at halftime courtesy of a first-half strike from Anita Punt but conceded two goals after the break to fall to a 2-1 loss.

New Zealand had opened the game strongly and were in control throughout the first half, creating plenty of scoring opportunities but were unable to convert them.

Punt delivered her side's lone goal with a pin-point penalty corner drag flick 10 minutes before halftime.

Black Sticks assistant coach Sean Dancer said the team will need to eliminate their second half mistakes ahead of tomorrow's game against the United States.

"We will certainly take some positives away from today's game, especially in the way we played the first half," he said. 

"We were in good control of the match but let Great Britain off the hook.

"In the second half Great Britain opened the game up nicely, and at times our basics were poor so that's something we will really be focusing on for tomorrow."

It was captain Kayla Whitelock's (nee Sharland) first outing since marrying Crusaders rugby player George Whitelock, while young Canterbury midfielder Jordan Grant was impressive in her debut match for New Zealand.

The tournament runs until next Tuesday.

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- Fairfax Media

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