(Photo: Frank Uijlenbroek)

Argentina emerged as champions at the inaugural Hawkes Bay Festival of Hockey and sent a clear message of intent to their opponents at the forthcoming Rabobank Hockey World Cup. It was a close-fought game – not reflected by the scoreline – with Las Leonas beating the Hockeroos 3-0. The goals came from Rocio Sanchez Moccia, Delfina Merino, and Carla Rebecchi. The result meant the Argentine side were unbeaten throughout the week-long tournament.

In the 3rd/4th place play-off, China beat the home team New Zealand 3-2 and Korea beat Japan 2-1 to avoid the basement position.

Speaking after the Black Stick's final game, coach Mark Hager said: "To China’s credit they put our defence under a lot of pressure and deserved the win. It was a poor performance from us to finish the tournament, we had too many passengers in our team today. However, reflecting back on the tournament we have played well against Argentina and Australia which is a real positive. We now look forward to the next few weeks with good solid training sessions and selections for the World Cup."