Australia have avenged their loss to the Black Sticks Women from Sydney last month as they were clinical on both ends of the turf to beat the Black Sticks Women 5-1 in their Anzac Day match on Aucklands, North Shore. The Black Sticks played some good periods of hockey but ultimately struggled to contain an Australia side which made the most of their opportunities in the attacking circle.
Australia started the match confidently and built some nice early attack. They earned the first penalty corner of the match when they found a Kiwi foot in the circle. Australia ran a great variation and managed to find the injector who deflected the ball into the back of the net. Following the opening minute shock when the Hockeyroos scored the Black Sticks started to construct some good attacking opportunities. The Black Sticks continued to pile on the pressure as the quarter wore on looking to find the equalising goal. At the end of the first quarter Australia was holding onto their narrow lead setting up an exciting second quarter.
Australia started the second quarter confidently and managed to find space in the circle where Emily Chalker powered a shot towards the close post and past Sally Rutherford. Deanna Ritchie managed to get one back on the half time whistle as Katie Doar managed to find Deanna Ritchie open in the circle for a deflection in past the Hockeyroos goalkeeper.
Australia started the third quarter the same way they did the first two when they found space in the attacking circle and got a clean shot off to extend their lead. The Black Sticks continued battling hard throughout the quarter as they pressed the Hockeyroos defenders trying to force turnovers. Heading into the final quarter the New Zealand Women needed 2 goals to get themselves back into the match.
Australia mid-way through the fourth quarter look to have sealed the result after they found Grace Stewart in front of goal and she managed to chip the ball over Grace O’Hanlon. In the last minutes of the game the Hockeyroos found the back of the net once more to finish 5-1 victors.
Vantage Black Sticks Women 1 (Deanna Ritchie 30 min)
Australia 5 (Kaitlin Nobbs 2 min, Emily Chalker 21 min, Savannah Fitzpatrick 31 min, Grace Stewart 53, 58 min)