[img_assist|nid=8681|title=|desc=|link=none|align=right|width=220|height=164]India men and Belgium women have qualified for the 2014 hockey World Cup following results overnight in the Ocenaia Cup.
As expected, hosts New Zealand and trans-Tasman neighbours Australia have reached the finals in both the men’s and women’s competitions.
Since the Black Sticks’ men and women and the Kookaburras and Hockeyroos have already qualified via the World League, this opens up places for one women’s and one men’s side, based on finishing positions in the World League then world rankings,
These spots go to India (men), for their sixth place finish in the Hague semi-final tournament, and Belgium, for their sixth place finish in Rotterdam.
The final two World Cup places will go to the winners of the Africa Cup, to be played November 18-14, 2013.
In the Oceania finals the Black Sticks Women play the Hockeyroos at 2.00pm on Sunday (1am UK) while the Black Sticks Men face the Kookaburras in the men’s final at 4.30pm (3.30am UK). Both games will be live streamed on the Hockey New Zealand website (www.hockeynz.co.nz).
When the teams met Australia during the round robin phase, the Black Sticks Women won 3-2 while the men fought hard but were defeated 3-1.
Women’s head coach Mark Hager is looking forward to the challenge of a rematch against the side’s trans-Tasman rivals.
“They’re a class side and they’ll be fired up for a bit of revenge after the last game. I’d expect them to play a bit better now that they’re settled into the time zone so it will be a close clash,” Hager said.
“In our first game against Australia our defensive outletting was poor so that’s been a key focus for us and we need to make sure we get more return out of our passes to create more penetration up front.”
Meanwhile men’s head coach Colin Batch has taken plenty away from yesterday’s loss to the Kookaburras ahead of tomorrow’s rematch.
“We were a bit disappointed with yesterday’s result and we know we can play a lot better. We face a team that has had some success and they will build on yesterday as well so we need to be even better with our defence.
“It’s a one-off game so anything can happen. I’m sure the crowd and whoever is watching online will enjoy the match.”
In today’s games, both New Zealand sides recorded big wins over Samoa.
The Black Sticks Women sealed a 26-0 result with 12 different players scoring goals. Canterbury striker Olivia Merry put four past the keeper while Anita Punt, Rose Keddell, Gemma Flynn and Julia King all scored hat-tricks.
In the day’s final match the Black Sticks Men overcame Samoa 25-0 with 14 players getting onto the scorecard. Simon Child and Phil Burrows both recorded hat-tricks while five others scored two goals each.
For more information on the Oceania Cup, CLICK HERE
OCEANIA CUP RESULTS
SATURDAY 2 NOVEMBER
TET Black Sticks 25: (Phil Burrows 3, Simon Child 3, Dean Couzins 2, Hugo Inglis 2, Blair Hilton 2, Steve Edwards 2, Jared Panchia 2, Shea McAleese 2, Stephen Jenness 2, Joe Bartholomew, Cory Bennett, Marcus Child, Blair Tarrant, Nick Haig)
Halftime: Black Sticks 12-0
Papua New Guinea: 0
Halftime: Australia 7-0
TET Black Sticks 26: (Olivia Merry 4, Rose Keddell 3, Anita Punt 3, Gemma Flynn 3, Julia King 3, Sam Charlton 2, Petrea Webster 2, Krystal Forgesson 2, Sophie Cocks, Liz Thompson, Bridget Blackwood, Kayla Sharland)
Halftime: Black Sticks 13-0
Papua New Guinea: 0
Halftime: Australia 16-0