Black Sticks lose warm-up matches

NZ Newswire July 16, 2012, 9:12 am

Giving the ball away too easily cost the New Zealand women's hockey team dearly as they were crushed 5-1 by hosts Germany in the final match of a pre-Olympics tournament.

Turnovers also hampered the national men's team who were beaten 3-2 by the Netherlands in Utrecht.

The sixth-ranked women were two goals down at halftime to the world No.3 Germany and conceded a third goal five minutes into the second half in Monchengladbach.

Charlotte Harrison finished off a goalmouth scramble to get the Black Sticks on the scoreboard but two more goals sealed the win for the hosts who are also in New Zealand's group at the Olympics.

"It was a very disappointing performance. We turned the ball over too much and this made our job of defending very difficult," says coach Mark Hager.

New Zealand finished second in the four-team tournament.

The Black Sticks men led against the third-ranked Dutch after three minutes when Richard Petherick converted a penalty corner in Utrecht.

But the hosts hit back with three unanswered goals before Blair Hilton cut the deficit with five minutes left.

Coach Shane McLeod bemoaned the number of turnovers his side gave up but was more satisfied with the performance than their 3-0 defeat against the same opposition two days earlier.

Both teams now head for the Olympic village in London with the women facing France in a friendly later this week and the men playing internationals against Great Britain and Spain.

NZN smm/nb

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