Oceania’s hockey giants went head-to-head today as Australia hosted New Zealand in the International Hockey Federation Pro League at Sydney’s Olympic Park Hockey Centre.
With both the men's and women's teams playing, Australia’s men gained their fifth successive win - and their second in two days - by beating the Black Sticks comfortably 5-1.
In contrast, Australia’s women lost their second match in two days as New Zealand beat them 3-1.
Following a heavy downpour that prompted work from the ground staff to clear excess water from the surface, the men’s match went ahead first with Australia scoring two goals in the first quarter.
The opener came from Tom Wickham at the second attempt after a surging run into the circle before a Jeremy Hayward drag flick from a penalty corner doubled their advantage.
New Zealand halved the deficit right at the end of the quarter when Hatden Phillips found the net from a penalty corner of their own.
Jack Welch put Australia 3-1 up in the second quarter when a brilliant pass from Jake Whetton split the Kiwi defence in half and the score became 4-1 in the third quarter when Wickham got his second.
The win was completed when Daniel Beale stole the ball from New Zealand defender Shea McAleese before smashing a reverse stick strike into the goal.
The result puts Australia further ahead at the top of the table on 16 points, though Belgium, currently second on nine, have played three less games.
"It’s always a great game to play against our Kiwi friends and I’m just happy that the crowd came out and enjoyed the spectacle," Australia’s player of the match Matthew Swann said.
In the women’s match, both sides came in off the back of defeats to Argentina and it was New Zealand who bounced back, thanks to two goals from Olivia Merry and a third from Amy Robinson.
Australia’s only goal came from Savannah Fitzpatrick in the 48th minute after another effort, which would have been the opener, was ruled out by a video referral.
The result does not change the women’s standings, though New Zealand now sit two points behind Australia in fifth, on 14 from eight games.
Reigning world champions The Netherlands are top with four wins from five matches.