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The men’s team was beaten 5-1 by Canterbury in Dunedin yesterday in its opening National Hockey League match, while the women suffered a heavy 9-1 loss to Canterbury in Christchurch.
It is not the start either team would have liked but men’s coach Clive Daniels was upbeat considering the lopsided scoreboard.
"I think the boys played really well but, unfortunately, we weren’t clinical enough in the circle," he said.
"We created a lot of chances ... but we’ve got to put them in the back of the goal and put scoreboard pressure on them.
"I’m not happy with the score but I am happy with the way we played."
Canterbury did not have the same problems in front of goal. Black Sticks striker Sam Lane drilled three goals for the Cavaliers.
The first was from a crisp strike near the top of the circle in the sixth minute.
He slotted another from a penalty corner midway through the third period and slapped in a penalty stroke shortly after — that was a real killer for Southern.
Moments earlier, the home team had scored a delightful goal through a wonderful sequence of passes that ended with Jason Dungey flicking the ball on to 17-year-old Finn Ward, who knocked the ball in behind the goalie to cut the deficit to two.
The Dogs did not have to wait long for another opportunity. Jack Gilbert had a golden chance. He just had the goalie to beat but could not control the ball.
Canterbury broke, getting the ball upfield to Richard Bain, who threatened to score but was brought down by the goalie. Lane drilled the penalty stroke.
Southern was suddenly adrift at 4-1 instead of in the hunt at 3-2.
Trent Summers added another towards the back end of the game to complete a polished effort by the visitors.
Southern will need to work on its penalty corners. They were sloppy and tardy but should be easily fixed.
"We just have to be better with that and more clinical with the execution of these sort of things."
Canterbury spent much more time on the ball but Daniels said that was a reflection of the style of play his team had adopted.
"We decided to hold in the middle and the centre and use our counterattack. You saw how may fast breaks we had.
"That was really good — we’ll keep working on that.
"Our strengths are our speed and that is what we are playing to."
In the other two men’s matches, Capital beat Central 5-0 and Midlands edged Auckland 1-0.
Storm coach Matt L’Huillier could not be reached for comment but his side will need to tidy up its defence after leaking nine goals.
Canterbury striker Emily Wium potted four goals in an impressive effort up front.
In the other matches, North Harbour dispatched Northland 4-0, Central brushed aside Capital 4-0 and Midlands prevailed against Auckland, winning the shootout 4-2 after the score was locked 1-1 at fulltime.
National Hockey League
Canterbury Cavaliers 5
Sam Lane 3, David Brydon, Trent Summers
Southern Dogs 1
Finn Ward Halftime: 2-0
Canterbury Cats 9
Emily Wium 4, Euleena MacLachlan, Margot Willis, Leah Butt, Hayley Cox, Sian Fremaux
Southern Storm 1
Lydia Shirley Halftime: 4-0.