Black Sticks make the most of their chances to beat SA men 5-0

2014-06-04 00:00

NEW Zealand beat the South Africa men’s hockey team 5-0 after leading 3-0 at half-time, the Black Sticks making the most of their chances, in contrast to the African champions.

This World Cup match saw SA start well but in the fourth minute Simon Child did brilliantly to trap a difficult pass on his backhand and turn to smash a rising shot that flew past keeper Rassie Pieterse at a tremendous pace (1-0).

In the 10th, SA striker Ignatius Malgraff’s quick hands earned this fast-paced clash’s first penalty corner and captain Austin Smith’s lightning-quick drag flick smashed into the crossbar and stayed out.

SA had another great opportunity shortly after, but the chance was lost in the final pass and the Kiwis hit back immediately to win their first PC in the 15th, which Andy Hayward buried into the right-hand side of the backboard (2-0). Hayward repeated the medicine in the 17th by taking the same option as his initial goal (3-0).

SA had some cheer three minutes later when a left-to-right diagonal pass fired in by Jethro Eustice saw a flying Tim Drummond come close to deflecting into the goals. And soon after Jonty Robinson, Tim Drummond and Julian Hykes combined to win a second PC, from which SA had three chances to score but to no avail.

A great chance fell to Taine Paton in the 25th after more excellent work by SA upfront but the closely marked midfielder, under pressure from a defender, couldn’t make the final connection.

The Kiwis hit back to win their third PC in the 29th from which Kane Russell took a fearful blow in a collision with SA defender Rhett Halkett, who was playing in his 100th Test.

Russell recovered sufficiently to fire New Zealand’s fourth PC at Pieterse soon after but the keeper glove-saved low to his left.

Another Hayward PC on the half-time whistle went wide.

Two minutes into the second half Pieterse made a save and came off his line at the right time hardly a minute later. In the 42nd Lloyd Madsen won SA’s third PC but the chance came to nothing.

A number of promising SA attacks were breaking down at the critical moment and Pieterse was forced to make another intervention at the other end after some stunning individual skill by Stephen Jenness along the left-side baseline. More superb running saw Child break into the strike zone and the exceptional sharpshooter’s backhand blast was somehow stopped by the last line of defence.

The Kiwis’ excellent patch of play marched on and in the 52nd Shea McAleese got a touch from Hayward’s disguised PC pass for the rock-hard white nut to flash high into the net (4-0). In the 55th another Hayward PC picked the same left-hand side of the goals as his initial brace of successful strikes and the drag-flick specialist had netted his hat-trick (5-0).

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