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Black Sticks Men into final; Women lose

A win for the Black Sticks men, but loss for the women in their respective Nations Cup semifinals
The Blacks Sticks Men have held on to win their FIH Nations Cup semifinal in Poland and will face France for the title. PHOTO: FIH

New Zealand Blacks Sticks teams have had mixed results at their respective FIH Nations Cup tournaments.

The Black Sticks Men will face France in the final of the FIH Nations Cup in Poland after edging Pakistan 2-1 in the semifinals on Saturday (Sunday NZ Time).


New Zealand went into the game with a strategy, and it took only two minutes for the Kiwis to go in front as Kane Russell fired an unstoppable penalty corner in.

The confidence from the early goal meant that New Zealand was dictating the tempo. 

They got their second with four minutes remaining in the first quarter. Hugo Inglis did brilliantly on the right and found Jake Smith, who provided a sliding finish on the other side.

Pakistan were not able to find that extra gear to score a goal in the first three quarters.

New Zealand’s defenders, who had the discipline to find a solution for every problem that was thrown their way. 

The Green Shirts, however, managed to find a way as a lovely team move was finished by Ashraf Rana Waheed with five minutes remaining.

The New Zealand side were then able to hold their own and even press forward on oa. 

Blair Tarrant was pleased with his Black Sticks side and its commitment, particularly in defence.

“Semifinals are always tough. We have played some great games against Pakistan already this year. It was hard. They counterattacked with speed and skill, which we knew they would, but we managed to do well.” 

Meanwhile, the Black Sticks Women suffered their first loss at the FIH Women’s Nations Cup in Ireland, going down to Ireland 2-1 in the semifinals.

It was a mixed first half for both sides as far as chances were concerned and the lack of being clinical meant that it ended 0-0.

Both nations had opportunities from penalty corners as well, but could not find the back of the net. 

The deadlock was finally broken chaotically by New Zealand in the 35th minute as Katie Doar’s run and pass from the right resulted in a massive scramble that ended with Rose Tynan dabbing it in. 

Within four minutes, Ireland equalised. A penalty corner saw Roisin Upton find Kathryn Mullan on the left side.

The winner came in the 51st minute when Hawkshaw’s brilliant play on the baseline was met with a smart finish by Sarah Torrans. 


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