Black Sticks Men collect second comfortable victory

The Black Sticks Men have collected their second victory at the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup with a 5-2 win over Argentina in Ipoh, Malaysia last night.

With a number of the squad still recovering from gastro illnesses, the Black Sticks were expected to struggle in the 30 degree heat and 100% humidity after their first up victory over India.

But assistant coach Darren Smith said the Black Sticks made the best of the trying conditions.

“Thanks to all the conditioning work we’ve been doing, our athleticism was one of the key differences between the two teams today.”

Argentina opened the scoring in the third minute and the Kiwis weren’t able to equalise until the 32nd minute when Phil Burrows deflected the ball brilliantly into the roof of the goal.

Richard Petherick converted with a drag flick in the 44th minute and despite Argentina clawing one back the Black Sticks were able to regain the lead with another penalty corner goal this time to Andy Hayward with a superb drag flick into the top right hand corner.

Minutes later Shay Neal, who had just arrived from New Zealand as a replacement player for the ill Blair Hilton, tapped in a field goal. Arun Panchia made sure of the victory in the 64th minute with a reverse shot.

Kyle Pontifex finished off an impressive Kiwi effort by saving an Argentinian penalty stroke with a few minutes left in the game.

Burrows was named player of the match.

The Black Sticks have a much needed rest day today before meeting Pakistan on Sunday night (NZ time).

Hawke’s Bay is the Principal Partner of the Black Sticks Men and Women.

Full time: 5-2 (New Zealand win)
Half time: 1-1
New Zealand goalscorers: Phil Burrows, Richard Petherick, Andy Hayward, Shay Neal, Arun Panchia.

Hockey New Zealand Media Release

Great Britain Suffer Late Malaysian Fightback

Great Britain’s men found themselves pegged back in the stifling final stages of their opening match at the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup in Malaysia as the hosts scored twice in the final three minutes to draw 3-3.  Great Britain had stormed into a 3-1 lead at the break thanks to goals from East Grinstead pair Glenn Kirkham and Ashley Jackson and one from Surbiton’s Rob Moore.  And there were further chances to extend the lead in the second period before Malaysia hit back late.

Things began well for Great Britain, who welcomed back Surbiton’s Matt Daly to the side after a long term injury kept him sidelined for much of the year.  Continue reading →

Black Sticks team for Asia Tour – a step closer towards Olympic selection

The Black Sticks Women’s team has been named for their Asia Tour, playing matches against China and Korea from 29 May to 7 June. Coach Mark Hager has named a touring group of 20, electing to take two extra athletes than the usual 18 to provide more opportunity for athletes to push for Olympic selection.

Black Sticks Logo“This is another opportunity to play two more top eight teams and will assist in determining the final selection of the 16 players we will take to London,” says Hager.

Hager says selection has been extremely difficult, with competition between squad members fierce with Olympic selection looming.

“This travelling group is fairly close to what could be our Olympic team. Selection is far from game over for those left out and there’s certainly no guarantee that 16 from this 20 will make up the team for London,” says Hager. Continue reading →

Kate Mahon retires from international hockey

Black Sticks defender and Midlands player Kate Mahon has decided to hang up the sticks and retire after seven years of international hockey. She will continue playing national league hockey for her Midlands team as well as staying involved in club hockey in the Waikato region.

Mahon debuted for the Black Sticks Women back in 2005 in a match in New Delhi under coach Ian Rutledge. She says her career highlight was when she scored the two penalty strokes to secure the win against Australia during the 2009 Oceania World Cup qualifier, securing the team’s spot at the 2010 World Cup.

Mark Hager took over as national coach in 2009 and remembers Mahon performing with excellence throughout the 2009 Champions Challenge, a tournament that the Black Sticks won. Continue reading →

Black Sticks Men claim victory over India despite illness

The Black Sticks Men have started the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup with a comprehensive 5-1 victory over India in Ipoh, Malaysia last night.

Black Sticks LogoThe seventh-ranked Kiwis have been struggling with gastro-related illnesses since they arrived in Malaysia a week ago, so to simply get through the match in the humid conditions was an achievement.

Black Sticks coach Shane McLeod was very pleased with the scoreline against the 10th-ranked Indians. Continue reading →

Six Black Sticks Men in race to get well before first game

The Black Sticks Men are in Malaysia getting ready to play their first game of the Azlan Shah Tournament, but luck hasn’t gone their way with Blair Hilton rushed into hospital overnight with appendicitis and this afternoon six team members have been recovering from gastro symptoms.

Players unwell include Simon Child, Arun Panchia, Stephen Jenness, Andy Hayward, Phil Burrows and Hugo Inglis. Black Sticks Men’s coach Shane McLeod says that getting the side back to full health is the team’s number one priority.  Continue reading →