Black Sticks: We're no longer the 'underdogs'
Mon, 12 Dec 2011 6:51p.m.
By Shaun Summerfield
Their world ranking of 7th may not have changed but the men’s Black Sticks medal hopes at next years Olympics have received a major boost after they placed 4th in the Champions Trophy.
Like the weather, Black Sticks coach Shane McLeod was a touch inclement today as he pondered the team’s fourth place ranking.
“We would have signed for 4th but when you start to get caught up with the potential of the side - there is a bittersweet feeling after all that.”
The 7th ranked Blacks Sticks were fighting for third place in the tournament, keeping hold of the Netherlands until late in the match.
The Black Sticks desperation was obvious as a fired up Hugo Inglis was sent off.
The 19-year-old’s passion still there today.
“We've proved something, we've definitely put those top teams on alert, we're not the underdogs. In eight months time we'll have nothing to hide,” says Inglis.
Their main target Australia claimed their 12th champions trophy, beating Spain 1- nil.
But the Kookaburas weren't the only winners, New Zealand Hockey is being lauded for running a successful tournament despite only having 12 weeks to organise.
And the 2018 world championships - are the next big goal.
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