The Hockeyroos & the Black Sticks could not be separated.
(Photo: FIH / Getty Images)
The Hockeyroos and New Zealand have played out a 3-3 in the second match of the Oceania cup at the Tasmanian Hockey Centre in Hobart.
However it was New Zealand who put the ball in the back of the net first with Emily Naylor putting away a finely executed penalty in the 7th minute to open up proceedings.
With the Hockeyroos on the back foot, New Zealand furthered their advantage a minute later courtesy of another penalty corner goal, this time to Sam Harrison.
Australia responded to the scoreboard pressure and continued to attack and were rewarded for their efforts after a finely executed Anna Flanagan drag flick off a penalty corner lobbed high into the net in the 21st minute.
The game continued to go from one end to the other with New Zealand looking the better of the sides late in the opening half, looking dangerous and exciting in attack on several occasions.
A great solo run through the midfield by Stacey Michelson led to another New Zealand goal, with Anita Punt showing composure in the goal circle to finish the job up forward to give the Blacksticks a two goal advantage going into half time.
The intensity in the second half picked up and both sides were full of run, with New Zealand looking more dangerous in their attacking circle early with speedy forward Charlotte Harrison busy.
Australia earned a pc in the 56th minute and were rewarded for their efforts after a well- executed PC variation saw Casey Eastham’s name on the scoresheet.
The final twenty minutes saw some great efforts from both teams who were desperate to gain the upper hand.
Blackstick Gemma Flynn showed her speed and skill with a pacy run down the left side to unleash a fine reverse stick shot onlt to be denied by a good save to Hockeyroos keeper Rachel Lynch.
The final ten minutes saw the Hockeyroos dominate posession and they demonstrated tenacity and in their attacking circle when the game was up for grabs.
The Hockeyroos nearly levelled on several occasions with their best chance coming from forward Claire Messent who spilled on a loose ball in the circle and unleashed a powerful reverse stick shot only to be denied by the inside of the crossbar.
After holding the ball in their attacking half for the majority of the second half, the Hockeyroos were finally rewarded in the 62nd minute after some quick ball movement in the circle resulted in a goal to second-gamer Emily Smith who squared things up and got her first International goal in the process.
From here on the Hockeyroos were full of energy and almost took the lead on several occasions.
After a run through the midfield, Casey Eastham found Georgia Nanscawen unmarked in the circle but her deflection went just wide.
Another chance for the Australians saw the ball bobble past the right post after some nice work going forward by Kelly White and Nascawen who continued to be busy for the Hockeyroos.
The final two minutes saw frantic hockey but both teams were unable to put the nail in the coffin and take out the match.
Despite not coming away with the win Hockeyroos coach Adam Commens said he was happy with his side’s gutsy comeback and how they executed their game plan.
“Unfortunately we didn’t make the most of our opportunities and we were really unlucky not to come away with the win”, Commens said.
Commens paid tribute to the efforts of two of his youngest players, 19 year olds Emily Smith and Georgia Nanscawen who both played their part in today’s match.
“I thought Emily and Georgia were quite outstanding today and our midfielders really stepped up as did our more experienced players” .
Oceania Cup 2011, Hobart (AUS) - Fixtures and Results
Times are local
Thursday 6th October 2011
Men: New Zealand v Australia 3-0
Women: Australia v New Zealand 2-1
Friday 7th October 2011
Saturday 8th October 2011
Women: New Zealand v Australia 3-3
Men: Australia v New Zealand - 3.00pm
Sunday 9th October 2011
Women - Australia v New Zealand - 1.00pm
Men - New Zealand v Australia - 3.30pm
All matches are being live streamed courtesy of the Hockey Australia website. For more information, pleaseclick here.
Source: Hockey Australia Media Release