Giving NZ stick ices cake for Rio- bound Roos
THE Hockeyroos have officially qualified for the Rio Olympics after beating New Zealand in the bronze medal playoff at the Hockey World League in Belgium.
Emily Smith’s 50th international goal and a devastating opening quarter set the Hockeyroos on course to a 4- 2 win over the Black Sticks. Coach Adam Commens said he was happy to have secured an Olympic spot but said the result didn’t erase the memories of their two defeats at the tournament.
“We’ve been threatening to do that for a while against the New Zealand team,” he said.
“( But) we can’t forget what happened in the semi- final and indeed the round game against New Zealand.
“We need to be better than we’ve been at this tournament. We’ll be really fired up and working hard over the next 12 months to ensure that we are.” Smith’s goal in the third minute and Jane Claxton’s volley just 60 seconds later set the tone for the victory, with Mariah Williams’ goal at the end of the first quarter earning the Hockeyroos a three- goal lead at the first break.
New Zealander Stacey Michelsen pulled one back shortly after half- time but when Georgia Nanscawen made it 4- 1 in the dying seconds of the third period it seemed the outcome was assured. Anita Punt pulled one back for the Black Sticks with a pinpoint penalty corner 10 minutes from time to complete the scoring. The Netherlands will meet South Korea in the gold medal match.