A strong start and finish by the Junior Black Sticks Men was not enough to clinch a win against Australia, going down 2-4 at the Junior World Cup Qualifiers on the Gold Coast tonight.
It was a much different game from the 15-0 win yesterday against Papua New Guinea, and despite goals from Auckland’s Jared Panchia and Southern’s Jeremy Morris, it was not enough to give the Kiwis the win they were after.
“We started pretty well and created some good chances in the first 15 minutes, but then Australia scored two quick goals and that put us on the back foot,” said head coach Grant Edwards.
Panchia scored in the first half when he received the ball and took a quick shot from the top of the circle, taking the score to 2-1. Australia then stretched their lead to 3-1 before half time. Australia held the majority of the possession in the second half scoring early on. With less than 10 minutes on the clock, Morris scored from a follow up at a penalty corner and although it kicked the Kiwis into action, it was too little too late.
Stand out players in today’s game were Auckland’s Kim Kingstone and Panchia.
Edwards said the focus for their next game (against Vanuatu this Saturday at 3pm NZ time) is to keep a consistent level of performance throughout and not let the opposition take control of the game.
The Junior Black Sticks Women are also in the Gold Coast playing three tests against Australia, while the men are playing games against Vanuatu, Papua New Guinea and Australia with the top two qualifying for the 2013 Junior World Cups. Assuming the men qualify, both coaches will be using the National Under-21 Tournament in May as a final opportunity to select their team.
Australia 4, New Zealand 2 (Jared Panchia, Jeremy Morris). HT: 3-1.
Match Schedule, Junior World Cup Qualifier (Gold Coast), NZ Time
Wednesday 27 Feb – Australia (3-1 Australia win)
7pm, Friday 1 March – Australia
3pm, Sunday 3 March – Play-offs
Wednesday 27 Feb – Papua New Guinea (15-0 NZ win)
Thursday 28 Feb – Australia (4-2 Australia win)
3pm, Saturday 2 March – Vanuatu
From 1pm, Sunday 3 March – Play-offs
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