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Black Sticks slump to second loss

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 19/06/2016

The Black Sticks have slumped to their second loss at the Champions Trophy women's hockey tournament in London, beaten 3-1 by Australia.

Emily Smith opened the scoring in the third minute for Australia, but the New Zealanders hit back almost immediately through Anita McLaren from a penalty corner.

Australia regained the lead in the 18th minute via Jodie Kenny's penalty corner goal, before Grace Stewart sealed the result with a field goal in the 40th, beating New Zealand keeper Sally Rutherford with a second attempt.

Two yellow cards in the final 15 minutes didn't help the Kiwi cause.

Kelsey Smith was marched for five minutes in the 45th minute before Pippa Hayward copped a 10-minute penalty two minutes later.

The yellow card was harsh as video replays showed it was given on a seemingly clean slide tackle from Olivia Merry.

Black Sticks coach Mark Hager says the yellow cards hurt them.

"You're not going to win with nine or 10 players, and we had a few cards in that game which really stopped us building momentum," he said.

"It's our fault - we had chances up front but weren't clinical in our finishing, and then didn't stop the Aussies well enough in defence.

"We've got to be better."

In other results, Argentina secured an emphatic 4-1 win over USA and the Netherlands, who thumped New Zealand 6-2 first up, downed Great Britain 2-0.

The Black Sticks play Great Britain next on Wednesday (NZT).

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