Success for NZ women but men thumped

Thomas Briels
Thomas Briels
There was a demoralising loss and a commanding win for the Blacks Sticks teams in their latest games in the FIH Pro league yesterday.

Belgium had a 4-0 win over the Black Sticks men in Antwerp while the Black Sticks women's side had a 3-0 win over Belgium.

The Belgium men were convincing victors, putting 15 shots on goal compared with the Black Sticks six.

Belgium had 60% of possession in the first quarter and went ahead through Sebastien Dockier.

No goals were scored in the second quarter although the visiting side had shots on goal.

Late in the third quarter, New Zealand was unable to clear
its defensive zone and Belgium jumped on the turnover, powering a shot into the bottom corner of the goal.

Belgium scored two goals through Thomas Briels in the dying stages to round out the scoring.

The Black Sticks women's side won through a hat-trick by Olivia Merry.

It was the side's first win in Europe in the FIH Pro League.

The game was scoreless at halftime although the home team enjoyed plenty of possession in the second quarter but could not find a goal.

The Black Sticks side increased its tempo in the second half.

From a penalty corner, the ball went to Merry and her shot hit a defender's's foot on the line.

Merry calmly stepped up and converted the stroke.

Belgium stormed down the other end of the field and had great scoring opportunities but some great goal line defence by the Black Sticks denied Belgium.

Late in the third quarter, Merry had her second goal of the match when her diving deflection in the circle found its way past the goalkeeper.

The Black Sticks increased the pressure on the Belgium defence as the fourth quarter began.

With one minute to go, Merry completed her hat trick.

The Black Sticks men and women will play their final games in the Pro League this weekend when they take on Great Britain in London.

The men are last in the league, and have yet to win a game while the women's side has won four games and sit sixth in the nine team league.

It can not make the playoffs.

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