Monday, August 15, 2022

Commonwealth Games Hockey: I love being creative, says Hugo Inglis

Birmingham — Hugo Inglis knows all about 5-5 games. At London 2012, the stalwart Black Stick was involved in a game where New Zealand were leading 5-2 before Germany scored two late goals to salvage a draw in the group stages.

Ten years on and New Zealand did the same to Scotland in their opening Commonwealth Games clash. “It was pretty bonkers,” was Inglis’ verdict.

“We had a 5-5 against Germany at London 2012. To come back from 5-1, I don’t think I have ever done that before and we took that momentum in against Pakistan.

“We started a bit dusty and it was nice to build from the second-half in the first match and then carry that on to a pretty good Pakistan side.”

After two opening wins, the Black Sticks came up against a rampant Australia side on Monday night, beating their trans-Tasman rivals 7-2. For Inglis, who is still chasing a first global title with New Zealand, the defeat would have been quickly forgotten. 

“I’m not so focused on the results,” he says. “For me, hockey is an expression of ability and creativity. I just love going out there and being how good I can be against the best in the world.

“Some days I am well below that mark and other days I do all right. Every day is a good challenge.”

The Kiwi environment of fishing and golf has served Inglis and team-mates well over a trying period during the pandemic and beyond. Now, he wants to be able to celebrate – with gold and the locals.

“We’re loving it, the Birmingham summer is in full force at the moment,” he adds. “We’ll try and get to some of the Birmingham pubs and meet a few of the locals properly.”

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