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The Black Sticks Women won the first match of their three-test Oceania Cup series against Australia 3-1 in Rockhampton last night.
The match was played at a high pace as both sides looked to build attacking sequences.
New Zealand constructed several opportunities as it looked to unsettle the Australians early in the match.
The Black Sticks earned a penalty in the second quarter on the back of some enterprising play and Megan Hull stepped up and swept the ball into the goal.
New Zealand went close several times in the second half and, late in the third quarter, extended its lead after Megan Hull pulled off a deceptive sweep for an Amy Robinson diving deflection.
Moments later, Stacey Michelsen broke down the field and put her side up 3-0.
The Hockeyroos turned pressure into an outcome with minutes to go in the match as a Georgina Morgan flick squeezed inside the post.
The Black Sticks Men were thumped 4-0 by Australia in the first match of their series yesterday.
New Zealand coach Darren Smith said his side needed to significantly improve when in possession and to look for more intent and go-forward with the possession it had.
"We need to make sure we are strong and robust on defence to stop a quality side like Australia from taking their chances. Australia came out in this game strongly and we need to match them in the first quarter of the game on Saturday."
Down 4-0, New Zealand started the fourth quarter strongly and pushed hard for a consolation goal but the Kookaburras' defence remained staunch .
Tom Craig, Tim Brand, Blake Govers and Flynn Ogilvie all scored for Australia.
Both the Black Sticks Women and Black Sticks Men take on their respective Australian sides again in Rockhampton on Saturday night.