GOLD COAST, AUSTRALIA - APRIL 09:  Australia forward Madi Ratcliffe (L) and New Zealand defender Samantha Charlton shake hands during Hockey on day five of the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games at Gold Coast Hockey Centre on April 9, 2018 on the Gold Coast, Australia.  (Photo by Michael Dodge/Getty Images)
GOLD COAST, AUSTRALIA - APRIL 09: Australia forward Madi Ratcliffe (L) and New Zealand defender Samantha Charlton shake hands during Hockey on day five of the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games at Gold Coast Hockey Centre on April 9, 2018 on the Gold Coast, Australia. (Photo by Michael Dodge/Getty Images) Michael Dodge

Black Sticks unconcerned by attacking drought

Black Sticks coach Mark Hager is unconcerned about his team's ability to score despite going goalless in 120 minutes.

New Zealand's women's hockey team scored 18 goals in its first two wins at the Commonwealth Games, but have been unable to beat the keeper in its 0-0 draws against Canada and Australia.

The results qualify New Zealand for the semi finals, but will put the Black Sticks on a collision course with world No.2 England should the Hockeyroos beat Scotland on Tuesday night.

New Zealand keeper Sally Rutherford produced three times as many saves as Australian counterpart Rachael Lynch, while Madison Doar got too much stick on a point-black opportunity.

It was a chance which, if converted, could have allowed New Zealand to top Pool B and a slightly easier semi final to qualify for the gold medal match.

But Hager, the former Olympic medal-winning Kookaburra who has coached the Black Sticks for the past decade who said a game against a team of England's quality could be decided by such chances, did not have any concerns with the way his team created opportunities.

"Those games are that close, it's a matter of who puts their chances away,” Hager said.

"The ball fell in the right spot, Madi Doar was in the right spot, unfortunately she got a bit too much stick on it and it went over the top. She's 18-year-old, she'll learn from that, and she'll be better for the future.

"I think we've been playing pretty well but the last couple of games we haven't been able to convert our chances.”

The Black Sticks now enjoy a three-day break ahead of Saturday's semi final.



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