Busy times for both Black Sticks teams with the lads wrapping up their series against Pakistan with a 2-1 loss in their fourth game and a 1-1 draw in the final Test. This saw them lose the series 2-1 but as Black Sticks Men's captain Arun Panchia explains, it's all good...
"The Pakistan series was a good one for us as we kicked off the year with a young squad, a new coach and a home series. Although we didn't quite get the result we wanted, we were competitive for most part and in the each game we felt we did enough to win. Game four was an eye opener for us, we felt we were a bit flat and didn't take the game to Pakistan. Playing five games against the same team you figure things out pretty quickly and we felt with that game in particular they hadn't done anything special to beat us.
Game five was a better performance and a good game of hockey, both teams having chances to win the game and while frustrating, it was good to see the difference between games four and five. There were some small things we can improve on but to see us make changes and implement them in a short turnaround is a good thing to be able to do for the future. By game five, all the newer guys were comfortable and playing some decent hockey and I think it will put us in a good space for the year ahead."
The Black Sticks Women are gearing up for the Hawkes Bay Festival of Hockey starting on the 31st of March and they managed to bounce back strongly after losing the first of two games against USA. The kiwis went down 6-2 in the first game before grabbing a 3-2 win and they will play USA again during the Festival, along with Australia and Japan.