The favoured Auckland men's and women's teams showed ominous form in the first round of the national hockey league on Saturday.

Northland were on the receiving end in both games in Whangarei. Their women's team lost 7-1 to the defending champion Aucklanders while the men's team were thrashed 10-0.

The Auckland men are co-defending champions after last year's final against Central was snowed out and they again shape as a team to beat.

In other men's matches on Saturday, Canterbury beat Southern 3-1 in Timaru courtesy of two goals to Trent Summers, while Midlands defeated North Harbour by the same scoreline in Hamilton. Capital toppled Central 4-2 in Wellington.

The women's matches were played at the same respective venues.

Two goals to Tara Hall helped Capital pip Central, while Canterbury beat Southern 4-1 and Midlands won a shootout against North Harbour after the scores were locked 1-1 at fulltime.

There is a second round of matches on Sunday before the remainder of the national league is played out in matches spanning August 25 to September 2 in Auckland.

NZ Newswire

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