Hockeyroos finish trans-Tasman series with win over Black Sticks

The new-look Hockeyroos have made a successful return to international hockey after securing a 2-0 trans-Tasman series victory over New Zealand in Auckland.

The world number two-ranked Hockeyroos entered Sunday’s fourth and final match in the box seat after posting a win and two draws earlier in the series.

But the series was on edge after Black Sticks captain Megan Hull scored against the run of play in the 14th minute on Sunday.

Goals from Rebecca Greiner and Brooke Peris lifted the Hockeyroos to a 2-1 win, ensuring the Australian women’s hockey team came up trumps in their first international series since last year’s Tokyo Olympics.

Edwina Bone, Emily Chalker, Ashlee Wells, Rachael Lynch, and Kate Jenner all retired following the Hockeryoos’ shock quarter-final loss to India in Tokyo.

Hockeyroos coach Katrina Powell selected 11 players with 17 caps or less for the series against New Zealand.

The Hockeyroos’ intent to wrap the series up was clear from the outset on Sunday.

Hannah Cullum-Sanders narrowly missed getting at the end of a searching Shanea Tonkin pass from close range, and the Hockeyroos had four penalty corners inside the opening four minutes.

Hull’s goal threw the contest wide open as New Zealand eyed an upset, but the Hockeyroos managed to equalize in the 23rd minute courtesy of some strong build-up play.

Courtney Schonell, making her first appearance in the series, did well to hold the ball up in the circle before sending it across to a dangerous spot for Greiner, who managed to get a crucial touch that saw the ball trickle underneath goalkeeper Brooke Roberts and over the goal line.

Then four minutes into the third quarter the Hockeyroos were in front when a sublime Steph Kershaw pass found Peris at full pace and behind the Black Sticks defense.

With just substitute goalkeeper Grace O’Hanlon to beat in goal, Peris converted the chance with aplomb, knocking her shot on the reverse superbly over the encroaching keeper to score her third goal of the series.

The series win will give the Hockeyroos a confidence boost ahead of the Women’s World Cup and the Commonwealth Games.

AAP


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