Australian Hockeyroos draw 1-1 with New Zealand in trans-Tasman series

A first international goal from Shanea Tonkin kept the Hockeyroos unbeaten in the trans-Tasman series after a 1-1 draw with New Zealand in the penultimate game in Auckland.

Tonkin struck on the stroke of halftime after Alia Jacques gave the Black Sticks a sixth-minute lead.

The Hockeyroos tied the Black Sticks 2-2 in Game 1 of the series on Tuesday before recording a 2-1 victory in Game 2 on Thursday.

Hannah Cullum-Sanders sent an early warning signal to the Black Sticks with a deliberate run into the attacking circle, but the 18-year-old couldn’t get her to fire on target.

As the Black Sticks players also pushed their claims for World Cup and Commonwealth Games selection, the home side took the lead in separating the Hockeyroos defense to score through Jacques.

The Hockeyroos won their first penalty corner of the game five minutes before half-time, but Maddy Fitzpatrick’s drag kick was saved by Black Sticks goalkeeper Grace O’Hanlon.

Steph Kershaw then found Mariah Williams with a pass into the attacking circle just before the break, with the striker hammering in a powerful back foot effort. Tonkin produced a stylish deflection, giving O’Hanlon no chance.

Both teams created decent chances in the second half, with Karri Somerville proving solid in the Hockeyroos defense with some crucial interceptions.

Goalkeeper Jocelyn Bartram had to keep her cool to diffuse a threatening Black Sticks opportunity when the home side had a two-on-one situation in the circle, keeping the Hockeyroos tied.

The Hockeyroos were forced to defend the Black Sticks’ first penalty corner on the last play of the game, which they managed to draw six of the teams’ last 11 meetings.

The final match of the series will be played in Auckland on Sunday.

AAP

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