Jason Wilson was on target as the Kookaburras battled past the Black Sticks.
Jason Wilson was on target as the Kookaburras battled past the Black Sticks.
(Photo: FIH / Grant Treeby)

The Kookaburras came from behind to beat rivals New Zealand in their second match at the Oceania Cup on Friday morning.

The game took place more than 15 hours after it was originally scheduled following torrential rain that caused the new pitch in Stratford to flood on Thursday night.

While all the goals came in the first half, a tight trans-Tasman affair entertained throughout with both sides failing to convert a number of opportunities in the second period.

Goals from Jason Wilson (QLD), Chris Ciriello (VIC) and Russell Ford (VIC) earned the Kookaburras all three points as they responded well to Blair Hilton’s opener for the Black Sticks.

Afterwards, Kookaburras coach Graham Reid said, “It’s always tight and tense against New Zealand.  We expected a tough encounter today but I was reasonably happy with our guys, although we struggled with the bouncy pitch at times.

“There were periods that we established control of the game, particularly in the second half when we created good opportunities but didn’t finish them. On this pitch we just need to stay down [in the circle]. 

“There were times we lost the ball a fair bit and I am sure Colin [Batch, New Zealand’s coach] would say the same. Overall, we held on to it a bit better [than New Zealand]; we got the ball in the circle and just didn’t quite finish off, which is something we’ll be looking at.”

For more information on the Oceania Cup, CLICK HERE

Source: Hockey Australia