Kookaburras power past Black Sticks

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The sun shone bright but it was the visiting Kookaburras who warmed to the task and added to their dominance over the Black Sticks in the trans-Tasman series.

A brace from Ky Willott (30th, 37th) and goals to Blake Govers (22nd) and Nathan Ephraums (56th), gave Australia a 4-1 win in the third match of the four-game series for an unassailable 3-0 lead in Auckland.

Australia attacked from the start but a strong New Zealand defence kept them at bay with Black Sticks 'keeper George Enersen making a fine save to keep the match goalless at the first break.

The Kookaburras forced more pressure in the second quarter with Jeremy Hayward's drag-flick just missing to the left.

But Australia took the lead when Blake Govers sent his flick past Enersen into the top left corner of the net.

Willott then scored his first goal in the final minute of the second period with a one-touch reverse shot.

Three minutes after the main break the home fans finally had something to cheer when 25-year-old Sam Lane scored the New Zealanders' second goal of the series to reduce the deficit.

But all it did was illicit a response from the Kookaburras with Willott bagging his second.

The Black Sticks came out of three-quarter-time with a new level of determination to find a number of attacking penalty corners and opportunities, but a strong Australian defence quashed any chances of another goal.

Ben Rennie, in his debut season for the Kookaburras, made critical saves while 24-year-old Jake Harvie showed great versatility combining defence with attack.

In the 56th minute, Nathan Ephraums wrapped up the scoring to register his fifth goal of the series, which comes to an end with the final match on Sunday.

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