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New-look Black Sticks outclass Malaysia

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 12/12/2016

Nervous energy has propelled the new-look New Zealand women's hockey team to a 3-0 win over Malaysia in the first of five Tests in Stratford.

All three goals came in the first half as eight players made their debut for the Black Sticks against the world No.21 ranked side.

Fifth-ranked New Zealand began with good intensity, scoring from a sixth-minute penalty corner through Sam Harrison.

Michaela Curtis doubled the lead before Midlands youngster Amy Robinson scored on debut soon before halftime following a swift attack.

Others to make their debut were Brooke Roberts, Pippa Norman, Tarryn Davey, Phoebe Steele, Catherine Tinning, Frances Davies and Ginny Wilson.

Black Sticks management want to use the week-long series to blood new players, looking ahead to the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.

However, they don't want standards to drop either, something assistant coach Sean Dancer says was largely achieved.

"We had a lot of new players tonight so there was plenty of nervous energy but also excitement which was great to see," he said.

"It was a good first half from us which we dominated and created a lot of pressure. We fell away a bit in the second half so we know what needs to be worked on ahead of game two."

The second Test is on Tuesday.

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