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Aussies lose women's hockey gold to NZ

NZN 4/06/2016

The Black Sticks have shocked Rio Olympic contenders the Hockeyroos, defeating them 2-0 in the gold medal match of the women's International Hockey Open in Darwin.

Both teams started strongly in attack in the Saturday night encounter, but it wasn't until well into the second quarter that opportunities were converted into points, with Kelsey Smith's field goal giving New Zealand an early edge.

Australia answered with a shot on a penalty corner but just missed.

The Black Sticks responded quickly by scoring a penalty corner chance of their own, with Olivia Merry making it 2-0 going into halftime.

Australia had opportunities in the second half but the New Zealand defence was too good.

Hockeyroos head coach Adam Commens said the disappointing result showed the need to take chances against quality opponents such as New Zealand.

"We had a lot of chances in the third quarter and it's unfortunate that we didn't score. That's why tonight they got the result," he said.

Kathryn Slattery of Australia celebrated her 50th cap for the Hockeyroos, and Sophie Cocks played her 100th for New Zealand.

Earlier on Saturday, Japan defeated India to finish third in the four-nations tournament.

The Hockeyroos next head to London to compete in the Champions Trophy from June 18.

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