FIH Hockey Pro League action continued in Christchurch, New Zealand with Great Britain men taking on Australia, followed by women’s action between hosts New Zealand and Great Britain. Great Britain remained perfect in the mini-tournament, with both the men and women’s team securing impressive victories. The men’s team edged past Australia in a closely fought encounter, winning 2-1, while the women’s team dominated the hosts in the second game, winning 2-0, but the scoreline would have been further lopsided had their attackers put finishing touches to the many chances they created.

(Men’s) Australia vs Great Britain 1-2

Australia made the livelier start to the game and nearly scored from a penalty corner but Jake Harvie missed the rebound from close range to keep the scores level. Ky Willott opened the scoring for Australia applying a smart finish to a flowing team move by the Kookaburras, but Sam Ward equalised for Great Britain from a penalty corner to take the teams into the first quarter break on level terms. Ward scored his second with a great deflection on Morton’s cross to give Great Britain the lead midway through the second quarter and they held onto that lead comfortably till the half time break.

Ky Willott was on the receiving end of a brilliant team move by Australia and his shot running towards the right in the circle managed to beat Mazarelo in the GB goal, but hit the right post and fell clear of the Australian sticks waiting for a rebound. Australia threw everything they had at Great Britain in the final quarter but their defence held strong. Australia had one final chance as they won a penalty corner with 3 seconds to go, but Ollie Payne who had already made crucial saves in the final quarter stood his ground and made a save as Great Britain made it two wins in two to start the Christchurch mini-tournament. 

David Goodfield was awarded player of the match and said: “It has been a good start to the Pro League season to remain unbeaten after facing so many good teams. Hopefully we can keep the momentum going.”

(Women’s) New Zealand vs Great Britain 0-2

Great Britain were dominant in the first quarter pressing high and turning possession over multiple times inside the Black Stick’s 25. Watson and Peel missed two one-on-one opportunities against Brooke, but yet another turnover inside the New Zealand 25 led to a penalty stroke as Charlotte Watson was upended in front of the goal. The penalty stroke was dispatched comprehensively by Tessa Howard to give the visitors a deserved lead. New Zealand gained a little more control in the second quarter, but it was still Great Britain well on top and they doubled their lead with Howard scoring her second of the game with a powerful shot from the top of the circle. 

Great Britain continued to hold possession and stopped New Zealand from posing any threat in their defensive half. There were chances aplenty for Great Britain to increase their lead as well with Hannah Martin shooting straight at the keeper in a one-on-one situation and Tessa Howard missed out on a hat-trick as her penalty stroke attempt in the final quarter was saved brilliantly by Grace O’Hanlon. New Zealand finally created their first chance of the game winning a penalty corner with 5 minutes left in the game but Merry’s slapped shot was well saved by Miriam Pritchard. 

Tessa Howard, scorer of both goals, was awarded player of the match and said: “We have been working on our attacking hockey for the past three months and we showcased that with the two early goals. But we have a lot more in the tank and we will hope to show it going forward.”

FIH Pro League – 23 April 2023

Nga Puna Wai Hockey Stadium, Christchurch (NZL)


Result: Men’s Match 32

Australia 1-2 Great Britain

Player of the Game: David Goodfield (GBR)

Umpires: Gareth Greenfield (NZL), Steve Rogers (AUS), Amber Church (NZL-video)

Result: Women’s Match 32

New Zealand 0-2 Great Britain

Player of the Game: Tessa Howard (GBR)

Umpires: Emi Yamada (JPN), Aleisha Neumann (AUS), Steve Rogers (AUS-video)