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Black Sticks open with win over Pakistan

Black Sticks open with win over Pakistan

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<p>The Vantage Black Sticks Men have defeated Pakistan 3-2 in the opening test in Wellington</p>
<p class="">The Vantage Black Sticks Men have defeated Pakistan 3-2 in the opening test at the National Hockey Stadium in Wellington.<br>
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In head coach Darren Smith’s first outing as head coach, the Kiwis controlled much of the possession throughout the match despite plenty of pressure from Pakistan.<br>
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Defender Cory Bennett delivered a stinging penalty corner flick and set up Sam Lane from another, while hometown hero Stephen Jenness added a terrific field goal for his side.<br>
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The clash was extra exciting for Cam Hayde, Nick Elder and Jonty Keaney who all made their Black Sticks debut.<br>
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Smith said it was great to come away with a result in his first game at the helm.<br>
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“We put together a couple of well executed corners and I thought the team had some good moments throughout the game with encouraging signs,” he said.<br>
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“I was happy with the work rate and the desire from all players was high. Each of the defenders did a good job and can be proud of their performance.<br>
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“We stuck to our task and defended well under pressure at the end so we will now look to put out an even better effort tomorrow.”<br>
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Lane opened the scoring midway through the second quarter after a well-executed penalty corner variation saw Bennett leave the ball for Lane to hammer into goal.<br>
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Pakistan equalised just minutes later when a defensive error allowed Muhammad Dilber to slip a ball past Devon Manchester in goal.<br>
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Jenness brought the home crowd to their feet in the 44<sup>th</sup> minute after receiving a great ball in the circle and dragging right to left around the keeper and finishing on his reverse stick.<br>
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Bennett then put the Black Sticks out by two goals 10 minutes from fulltime with a crashing penalty corner flick low and to the right.<br>
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Pakistan scored again in the 52<sup>nd</sup> minute through a Muhammad Aleem Bilal flick but the New Zealand defence held firm to secure the result.<br>
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The Vantage Black Sticks are back in action against Pakistan at 4:30pm tomorrow, with live coverage available through <a href="http://www.hockeynz.co.nz/video" target="_blank">www.hockeynz.co.nz/video</a> <br>
<strong><br>
VANTAGE BLACK STICKS 3:</strong> (Sam Lane, Stephen Jenness, Cory Bennett)<br>
<strong>PAKISTAN 2:</strong> (Muhammad Dilber, Muhammad Aleem Bilal)<br>
<strong>Halftime:</strong> 1-1<br>
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2017-03-17T07:52:00+11:0016150true

  • March 17th, 2017 in
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