Australia won men’s and women’s matches as their teams faced New Zealand on Anzac Day in the latest round of International Hockey Federation (FIH) Pro League action in Auckland.
The Australian women’s side avenged last month’s home loss against the Black Sticks with a clinical display to emerge 5-1 winners at North Harbour Hockey Stadium.
Kaitlin Nobbs, Emily Chalker and Savannah Fitzpatrick helped the Hockeyroos into a 3-1 lead before two Grace Stewart goals in the final quarter sealed the win as the visitors strengthened their grip on fourth place in the standings.
Defeat for New Zealand, whose solitary goal came courtesy of Deanna Ritchie, left them sixth.
They have lost ground on fifth-placed Germany, who beat Great Britain 2-0 yesterday.
"We’ve had a few games where we haven’t put goals in the back of the net, but today it wasn’t just PCs (penalty corners), it was team goals, with strikers putting it in the back of the net after being built up from the back," said Australia’s Jane Claxton, who was named player of the match.
"That is what we have been trying to do over the past few years and slowly but surely we are getting there and putting more goals in the back of the net, which I think will give the girls more confidence leading into the next few games."
Australia’s men were given a stern test by New Zealand before winning 4-3 thanks to strikes from Tom Craig, Flynn Ogilvie and a double from player-of-the-match Blake Govers.
They remain second in the standings but have improved their points percentage to 79.17, closing the gap on league leaders Belgium who have 80.
New Zealand, who came from 2-0 down to draw level before Govers' brace, remain bottom with 7.41.
Their goals were scored by George Muir, Jared Panchia and Mackenzie Wilcox.
"New Zealand had us scrambling toward the end and it made it interesting for the crowd, but luckily we held on," Govers said.
"I believe it is our fault that we let them come back [into the game] so easily, but we have plenty of learnings to take away."
Anzac Day is observed by Australia and New Zealand and commemorates the citizens of both nations who served and died in all wars, conflicts and peacekeeping operations.
The FIH Pro League is due to continue tomorrow.
Germany’s men and women will host the Netherlands in Mönchengladbach.