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Pan American Champions to clash with Black Sticks at Ngā Puna Wai

Published on Wednesday, 26 February 2020

Pan American Champions to clash with Black Sticks at Ngā Puna Wai

Vantage Black Sticks Men vs Argentina, Friday, February 28th at 5:40 pm & Sunday, March 1st at 3:00 pm – Ngā Puna Wai, Christchurch

 

The Vantage Black Sticks Men are looking to be in good form for their last home matches of 2020 against Argentina. The Kiwis backed up their first win of the FIH Hockey Pro League with a second win the following weekend against a determined Spanish side.

 

The Kiwis are without several frontline players and will be looking towards their up and coming players to impress as they aim to press their case for further Pro League and Olympic selection.

 

The New Zealanders will turn their attention towards the reigning Olympic Champions Argentina. Both sides will be looking to gain some much-needed momentum as they continue to build combinations ahead of the Tokyo Olympic Games.

 

The Argentina Men while only sitting one place ahead of the Black Sticks on the Pro League table have been in fine form in the 2020 Pro League having lost only one match in regulation time. The Argentina attack is looking to be in fine form, having scored 12 goals in their four goals they have played.

 

Local Canterbury Striker Sam Lane stated of the Argentina threat "Argentina have plenty of experience in their team, including many from the 2016 Rio Olympic team who won gold. They have some highly skilled individuals upfront and some very experienced campaigners at the back controlling things from behind. I do, however, believe the two teams match up well and constantly play out close and exciting battles."

 

Having now played 63 matches for the New Zealand side, Lane will be called upon to provide plenty of go forward with experienced strikers Stephen Jenness and Hugo Inglis unavailable for selection. Lane possesses some great deft touches and will look to create plenty of opportunities for the other strikers.

 

Black Sticks coach Darren Smith commented on the Argentina side "Argentina is a talented team, we expect them to come with a bit of skill and flair. We have several players returning for this game and will be looking for their experience to help the side out".

 

Lucas Martinez is leading the charge for Argentina in the 2020 FIH Hockey Pro League having scored three goals for the South Americans including a double strike in the 5-1 route of Spain. In his 69 tests for Argentina, Martinez has found the net on 20 occasions.

 

 

Name

Position

Province

Caps

Richard Joyce

Goalkeeper

North Harbour

85

Leon Hayward

Goalkeeper

Auckland

5

David Brydon

Defender

Canterbury

52

Shea McAleese

Defender

Hawkes Bay

308

Cory Bennett

Defender

North Harbour

108

George Connell

Defender

Canterbury

6

Dane Lett

Defender

Wairarapa

75

Dwayne Rowsell

Defender

Auckland

29

Brad Read

Defender

Wellington

32

Aidan Sarikaya

Midfield

Thames Valley

44

Nick Ross

Midfield

Otago

128

Steve Edwards

Midfield

North Harbour

218

Marcus Child

Midfield

Auckland

169

Jared Panchia

Midfield

Auckland

132

Simon Child

Striker

Auckland

284

George Muir

Striker

North Harbour

139

Dylan Thomas

Striker

Hawkes Bay

25

Dominic Newman

Striker

Canterbury

56

Sam Lane

Striker

South Canterbury

63

Jacob Smith

Striker

Wellington

84

 

*Two to be omitted

 

 

Vantage Black Sticks Women vs Argentina, Friday, February 28th at 8:10 pm & Sunday, March 1st at 5:40 pm – Ngā Puna Wai Christchurch 

 

The Vantage Black Sticks Women are looking to back up their impressive performance from two weekends ago in Christchurch when they take on the Argentina side this Friday and Sunday evenings. The Black Sticks will be looking for their third straight win in the FIH Hockey Pro League. The Kiwi girls are currently sitting second on the table and will be looking for a further six points this weekend as they look to cement their place towards the top of the ladder.

 

These two sides are no strangers having battled on 42 occasions since 2013. Argentina has come out with 25 wins in those contests. However, the Black Sticks are no strangers to beating the South Americans having done so on 11 occasions themselves since 2013. When these two sides meet, there is usually plenty of goalscoring opportunities on display as both teams like to play an attacking brand of hockey.

 

Argentina are in form and will be looking to build on their impressive performance where they handed the Dutch their only loss of the Pro League so far. They will be led by Delfina Merino and Agustina Gorzelany who have found the goal four times each and will be looking to continue their scintillating form on the New Zealanders home pitch. Merino is one of the top strikers in the world and will be looking to put some significant pressure on the New Zealand defensive unit as she aims to get Argentina on the front foot early in the match.

 

Grace O’Hanlon returned in goal against the United States after a long injury layoff, O’Hanlon has established herself as one of the best goalkeepers in international hockey, and her combination with Georgia Barnett means that the Kiwis defence always has a strong foundation to build on.

 

Black Sticks Midfielders Sam Charlton said “We know Argentina is a physical side, they always put out on the turf 100% no matter what game it is. They are in great form after beating the Dutch last weekend, so we are expecting a tough match”.

 

Graham Shaw anticipates an incredibly difficult match for his side “Argentina play a lovely brand of hockey, we are going to have to match them in many areas, and intensity is one of them. We are going to match them from a physical and mental point of view and shut down their dangerous players in this weekend’s game”.

 

Argentina will have added motivation for the match as a loss to New Zealand this weekend will drop them from second in the world rankings to third.

 

Name

Position

Province

Caps

Georgia Barnett

Goalkeeper

Manawatu

33

Grace O’Hanlon

Goalkeeper

Auckland

59

Megan Hull

Defender

Wairarapa

29

Fran Davies

Defender

Tauranga

77

Julia King

Defender

Auckland

121

Brooke Neal

Defender

Northland

174

Sam Charlton

Midfield

Tauranga

249

Ella Gunson

Midfield

Northland

219

Tarryn Davey

Midfield

Thames Valley

61

Rose Keddell

Midfield

Tauranga

205

Stacey Michelsen ©

Midfield

Northland

285

Holly Pearson

Midfield

Taranaki

17

Kelsey Smith

Midfield

Nelson

94

Katie Doar

Midfield

Auckland

13

Gemma McCaw

Striker

Tauranga

252

Olivia Shannon

Striker

Hawkes Bay

23

Olivia Merry

Striker

Canterbury

230

Amy Robinson

Striker

Tauranga

76

Hope Ralph

Striker

Taranaki

6

Alia Jaques

Striker

Waikato

13

Rachel McCann

Striker

Canterbury

68

 

*Three to be omitted

 

 

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