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Black Sticks lose to Spain in opener

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 27/06/2016

New Zealand's defence was opened up in the second half to suffer a 2-0 loss to Spain at the Six Nations men's hockey tournament in Valencia.

The Black Sticks paid for their inability to convert chances while the hosts were clinical in scoring through Pau Quemada and Xavi Lleonart early in the third and fourth quarters.

New Zealand coach Colin Batch was pleased to see his team creating chances but there is an obvious need to improve execution.

"We played a pretty good game for the most part but had a few lapses and allowed them to score two goals," he said.

New Zealand went close to scoring several times through penalty corners but Kane Russell and Nic Woods were both marginally off with their finishing.

World No.8 New Zealand are seeking good form five weeks out from the Rio Olympics.

After losing to the 11th-ranked Spaniards, they will need to improve for their second game, against third-ranked Germany on Tuesday.

The Germans opened with a 4-0 thrashing of India.

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