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Black Sticks eye Aussies after opening win

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 31/05/2016

The Black Sticks have warmed up for their key clash against Australia at the women's International Hockey Open in Darwin with a 4-1 win over India.

Fourth-ranked New Zealand shook off a slow start and a tight 1-0 halftime lead to dominate the second half and score three unanswered goals in the space of six minutes in the fourth quarter.

Canterbury midfielder Pippa Hayward scored a double while Petrea Webster and Anita McLaren added to the tally.

Coach Mark Hager said there was plenty to work on ahead of Wednesday's match against the world No.3 Hockeyroos.

"It's always good to start with a win but there are definitely areas we need to work on and tighten up ahead of our next game against Australia," he said.

"We created a lot of chances but need to get better at converting more of those, and at times we went off the boil a bit so it's maintaining intensity for the full 60 minutes."

Australia beat Japan 3-1 in their opening match, with goals to Jodie Kenny, Kellie White and Georgia Nanscawen.

The International Hockey Open is part of New Zealand's build up for the Champions Trophy in London from June 19-27 and the Rio Olympics in August.

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