Maddison Brooks, Abby Wilson spearhead Hockeyroos win over rivals NZ

The Hockeyroos celebrate Abigail Wilson's goal in the 2-1 win over New Zealand in Christchurch.

The Hockeyroos celebrate Abigail Wilson's goal in the 2-1 win over New Zealand in Christchurch. Photo: AAP

Maiden international goals from Maddison Brooks and Abby Wilson have given the Hockeyroos a memorable 2-1 victory over New Zealand in their Pro League match in Christchurch.

With the honour of playing against their trans-Tasman rivals on Anzac Day, the Hockeyroos found themselves trailing after just six minutes when Black Sticks captain Olivia Shannon deflected the ball in from a well-rehearsed penalty corner.

However, the Australians’ persistence and constant pressure proved telling as Brooks scored a stunning tomahawk to equalise in the 49th minute, before Wilson pounced with two minutes remaining to win it.

In front of a sell-out crowd, the Black Sticks almost pounced on a defensive error in the first minute but an alert Jocelyn Bartram prevented the Hockeyroos from facing an early deficit.

After Shannon’s opener for the hosts, Courtney Schonell was denied by an excellent save from Black Sticks goalkeeper Grace O’Hanlon.

Rebecca Greiner and Wilson were proving constant threats down the left as the Hockeyroos had 10 circle penetrations to three in the first half, but they could not make their ascendancy count on the scoreboard.

The majority of the third quarter saw the Hockeyroos spend extended periods in the Black Sticks’ half of the pitch. Despite the Hockeyroos’ intent, New Zealand’s defence proved difficult to break down.

Jane Claxton and Schonell again tested O’Hanlon before player-of-the-match Hannah Cullum-Sanders flashed a tomahawk just wide.

It was going to need something special for the Hockeyroos to capitalise and Brooks provided it when the Tasmanian unleashed from inches inside the D that rocketed into the top corner.

With their tails up, the Hockeyroos continued with their relentless pressure and in the 58th minute they were in front when Schonell’s initial shot was saved and Wilson was first to react to hammer home the rebound.

“It felt surreal … it was such a good team effort and us sticking to the team process is what got us over the line,” said Wilson.

“I was just lucky to get on the end of it.

“One of our key focuses today was to have grit and the ability for us to come back really showed those qualities.

“It was the biggest crowd I have played in front of. It’s a special day for Australia and New Zealand on a grand scale, so to play on Anzac Day and come away with a result like that was great.”

The Hockeyroos’ next match is against Great Britain on Friday.


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