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Hockeyroos too strong for Black Sticks

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 17/11/2016

Australia have avenged their Rio Olympics quarter-final loss to New Zealand with a 6-0 thumping in the first women's hockey international in Auckland.

The Black Sticks knocked the Hockeyroos out of medal contention in August with a 4-2 win, but the Australians outplayed the Kiwis on Thursday.

Kathryn Slattery led the way with a double, and set up a third, as the Hockeyroos completely dominated the first Test of the three-match series.

The Kiwis were under the hammer right from the first whistle, struggling to contain Australia's flat passing, rapid-fire game.

Both teams looked rusty, working hard to bed in new combinations, with four newcomers fronting for Australia and three for New Zealand in their first outing since Rio.

Despite a dearth of possession, the Black Sticks survived the first quarter without conceding, although they had to defend four penalty corners in rapid succession.

However, the Hockeyroos struck early in the second spell, breaking clear from a bungled Black Sticks penalty corner.

Rose Keddell mistimed the trap, Slattery pounced and sliced through the middle before finding debutant Kalindi Commerford for a clinical finish.

The Australians continued to find space behind the New Zealand defence, running riot through the middle and the Kiwis were lucky to go into halftime just one goal down.

But the pressure told in the third quarter, the Australians finally converting their dominance with three well-taken goals, two from penalty corners.

Rookie Murphy Allendorf set up the first after just three minutes, breaking through the middle to set up Slattery, who beat Kiwi keeper Amelia Gibson with a cool flick over her head.

Georgina Morgan and Georgia Nanscawen both converted from penalty corners to give the Hockeyroos a 4-0 lead at the three-quarter mark.

Ashlea Fey made it five early in the final stanza from yet another penalty corner, then Slattery rounded off a superb performance with a strong run along the baseline before slamming home from a narrow angle.

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