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Black Sticks fade to third loss

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 24/06/2016

The Black Sticks couldn't defend a 2-0 halftime lead in the third Test against the Netherlands in Groningen, conceding four second-half goals in a disappointing 4-2 loss.

The result gives the Netherlands a clean sweep in the men's hockey series after they won the first Test 1-0 and the second 2-0.

The eighth-ranked New Zealanders raced out to a 2-0 lead over the world No.2 Dutch in the final game, Nick Wilson scoring in the fifth minute and Stephen Jenness in the 26th.

The Netherlands lifted in the third quarter with goals from Bob de Voogd and Robert van der Horst level the scores.

The Dutch then grabbed the lead for the first time in the 49th minute after a Rogier Hofman field goal before Jelle Galema sealed the result two minutes from fulltime.

Black Sticks coach Colin Batch says his team will learn from the loss.

"I thought we had a really good first half and it was pleasing to be able to execute on our chances and go out by two goals," he said.

"We knew a team as good as the Netherlands were always going to come back, and they certainly did.

"But it was more good experience against a top class team, and shows us what we need to work on going into the Six Nations and Rio Olympics."

The Black Sticks now travel to Valencia for a Six Nations tournament with their opening game against hosts Spain early on Tuesday (NZT).

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