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Black Sticks end Six Nations with big win

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 3/07/2016

Simon Child scored a goal in the game against Argentina © Getty Simon Child scored a goal in the game against Argentina New Zealand have ended the Six Nations men's hockey tournament on an encouraging note, beating Argentina 4-1 in Valencia.

The Black Sticks finish third after posting two wins, a draw and two losses.

They saved their best for last, the world No.8 ranked side beating the seventh-ranked South Americans with a dominant display in which they hogged possession and created the bulk of the scoring chances.

They notched a goal in each quarter through Shay Neal, Nick Wilson, Simon Child and Stephen Jenness before a Argentine consolation goal to Gonzalo Peillat from a penalty corner.

Coach Colin Batch said it was pleasing to finish on a high note a month out from their Rio Olympic campaign.

"It's significant that we played our best match at the end," he said.

"It was a big step up for us and we walk away with the bronze medal which is a good reward for a good performance against one of the top teams who will be at Rio."

The two first-half goals were New Zealand's best.

Neal produced a brilliant solo effort, pivoting and changed angle twice before firing into goal from long range.

The lead was doubled on the stroke of halftime through a length of the field counter attack, ending when Neal found Wilson unmarked on the far post.

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