Giv­ing NZ stick ices cake for Rio- bound Roos

Townsville Bulletin - - SPORT -

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.

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