Hockeyroos stay unbeaten in NZ after draw with Black Sticks

A first international goal from Shanea Tonkin has kept the Hockeyroos undefeated in the trans-Tasman series following a 1-1 draw with New Zealand in the penultimate match in Auckland.

Tonkin struck on the stroke of half-time after Alia Jacques handed the Black Sticks a sixth-minute lead.

The Hockeyroos drew 2-2 with the Black Sticks in Tuesday’s series opener before recording a 2-1 victory in the second match on Thursday.

Hannah Cullum-Sanders sent an early warning sign to the Black Sticks with a purposeful run into the attacking circle but the 18-year-old could not get her shot on target.

With the Black Sticks players also pushing their claims for the World Cup and Commonwealth Games selection, the home side went ahead when they picked apart the Hockeyroos defense to score through Jacques.

The Hockeyroos won their first penalty corner of the match five minutes before half-time, but Maddy Fitzpatrick’s drag flick was saved by Black Sticks goalkeeper Grace O’Hanlon.

Steph Kershaw then found Mariah Williams with a pass in the attacking circle just before the break, with the striker hammering a powerful effort off the back foot. Tonkin produced a classy deflection, giving O’Hanlon no chance.

Both sides created decent chances in the second half, with Karri Somerville proving solid in the Hockeyroos defense through some crucial intercepts.

Goalkeeper Jocelyn Bartram was required to keep her nerve to diffuse a threatening Black Sticks opportunity when the home side had a two-on-one situation in the circle, keeping the Hockeyroos on level terms.

The Hockeyroos were forced to defend the Black Sticks ‘first penalty corner in the last play of the match, which they did successfully to make it six draws from the teams’ past 11 meetings.

The final match of the series will be played in Auckland on Sunday.

AAP


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