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New look Hockeyroos show character in comeback against Black Sticks

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In a gusty comeback, the young Hockeyroos showed poise beyond their years to earn a hard-fought draw with the Black Sticks in Auckland.

 

A youthful and largely inexperienced Hockeyroos outfit has shown plenty of promise, fighting back from two goals down to draw 2-2 with the Vantage Black Sticks in the opening match of the 4-match Trans-Tasman Series in Auckland.

New Zealand led 2-0 heading into the last quarter but two goals in as many minutes from seasoned campaigners Maddy Fitzpatrick and Mariah Williams deservedly gave the Hockeyroos a share of the spoils in their first international match in over nine months.

Claire Colwill, Hattie Shand, Shanea Tonkin and Hannah Cullum-Sanders all made their Hockeyroos debut, while Rebecca Greiner played her first Hockeyroos match since 2019.

Aside from veterans Jane Claxton and Brooke Peris, the Hockeyroos lineup included 10 players with under 20 international matches to their name.

In a typically nervy and fast-paced opening, the Hockeyroos could count themselves unlucky not to go ahead in the first quarter.

Rosie Malone and Tonkin brought the best out of Black Sticks goalkeeper Grace O’Hanlon as the Hockeyroos’ pressure caused turnovers that in turn created chances.

O’Hanlon came to the home side’s rescue again with a smart double save from a Hockeyroos penalty corner.

 

 

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At the other end of the pitch, Hockeyroos Jocelyn Bartram also produced some important saves to foil a couple of threatening moments for the hosts.

A minute into the second quarter New Zealand capitalised on a penalty corner and took the lead. Bartram did well to stop the initial shot low down but Rose Tynan was first to the rebound to poke the ball over the line in her debut.

O’Hanlon’s resistance continued to frustrate the Hockeyroos before Bartram denied Olivia Shannon, both goalkeepers putting on an impressive display.

In the 42nd minute, Shannon would not be denied as she was spotted unmarked with a 30-metre pass down the channel, firing her shot past Bartram.

Despite the deficit, the Hockeyroos remained composed and were rewarded for their intent when Fitzpatrick finally beat O’Hanlon with a well-executed drag flick.

A minute later the Hockeyroos were awarded another penalty corner. Penny Squibb’s drag-flick caught a New Zealand defender and the Hockeyroos were awarded a penalty stroke which Williams duly dispatched into the top corner to draw the Australians level.

That’s how it stayed to make it five draws between the teams from their past eight meetings.

“I think our performance was a little bit scratchy and looked a little bit inexperienced…that’s probably exactly what you’d expect after not playing for so long,” said Powell.

“But to bring in four debutantes and finally get to play again, drawing against New Zealand tonight isn’t a bad thing.”

“We got plenty of outcomes in the attacking circle. Not in terms of goals but we haven’t won that many penalty corners in a game for a long time so that was pleasing.”

 

Match 2 of the Trans-Tasman Series is on Thursday at 5.05pm AEST.

The matches are broadcast LIVE in Australia on LIVEHockey. The remaining three matches require a LIVEHockey subscription.

 

Match Details

New Zealand 2 (Tynan 16’, Shannon 42’)

Hockeyroos 2 (Fitzpatrick 47’, Williams 48’)

@ National Hockey Centre, Auckland

 

Hockeyroos: 1.Claire Colwill, 2.Rosie Malone, 3.Brooke Peris, 4.Amy Lawton, 6.Penny Squibb, 8.Georgia Wilson, 9.Shanea Tonkin, 10.Maddy Fitzpatrick, 11.Meg Pearce, 12.Greta Hayes, 13.Hattie Shand, 18.Jane Claxton (c), 19.Jocelyn Bartram (gk), 20.Karri Somerville, 24.Mariah Williams, 28.Hannah Cullum-Sanders, 29.Rebecca Greiner

Unused substitute: 7.Aleisha Power (gk)

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