The Black Sticks Women will be drawing from their experience in the Four Nations Tournament last week in Cordoba, when they take on home side Argentina in their first match of the FIH Champions Trophy in Rosario at midday on Sunday (NZ time).
The Kiwis lost to Argentina 3-2 in extra time in the bronze medal match at the Four Nations Tournament, but are hoping to put their wrongs right when they face the world’s number two side in front of a full stadium on Sunday.
“Last year the Champions Trophy was the major event for us, whereas this year we are training for the Olympics and using Champions Trophy to see how we are positioned and the areas to focus on over the next six months,” says Hager.
After playing Argentina, the Black Sticks Women will face eighth ranked Korea at 9.30am on the 30 January (NZ time) and then third ranked Germany at 9.30am on 1 February (NZ time) in pool play. The Netherlands, China, Great Britain and Japan will play in pool A.
The International Hockey Federation (FIH) is trialing an alternate competition format where the cross over round will see the top teams of Pool A play the bottom teams of Pool B. The four winners then advance to semi-finals and semis’ winners to the final.
All the Black Sticks games will be live on Sky Sport with coverage of their Argentina match from midday this Sunday. For the scheduled television times go to - http://www.hockeynz.co.nz/hockeyontv/
Hawke’s Bay is the Principal Partner of the Black Sticks Men and Women.
The Black Sticks Women were out-muscled by China 6-1 in their final practice match in Rosario today. Coach Mark Hager took the opportunity to vary positions and patterns of play in what was their last practice match before Champions Trophy. "We tried a few positional changes and experimented with a few things, so positive learnings have come from that," says Hager.
The Black Sticks Women will begin their Champions Trophy campaign, meeting Argentina in their first match of pool play on Saturday 28 January at 20:00 (Argentina time) - Sunday 29 January at 12:00 (NZ time). All the Black Sticks matches will be televised LIVE on Sky Sport - check out the schedule here!
First 3rd: 3-0 (JPN)
Second 3rd: 5-1 (JPN)
Third 3rd: 6-1 (JPN)
Source: Hockey New Zealand website
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