New Zealand’s Kane Russell has scored a stunning hat-trick to power his side past Scotland 5-2 in their third pool match at the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games.
Russell was in fine form from set pieces, delivering three pin-point penalty corner drag flicks to help the Kiwis record their third win from three matches so far.
Strikers Jared Panchia and Hugo Inglis also added to the goal tally after both scoring well-worked field goals set up through superb team passing.
The result puts the Kiwis in a powerful position on top of Pool A with nine points and one game still to play, having scored 17 goals and conceded just four.
New Zealand could have a place in the semi finals secured later today if hosts Australia can defeat or draw against Canada in their match-up.
Head coach Darren Smith said it was great to remain undefeated and continue putting goals into the back of the net.
“We were able to put a lot of pressure on Scotland and that caused some issues for them, and we were able to capitalise well,” he said.
“It’s really good to be scoring goals. There have been times over the past 12 months where that has been a bit difficult for us but we are clicking well at the moment and doing some good work from set pieces.
“We look forward to the challenge of Australia, they are a very good side and it’s always a tough battle against them. They will be fast and aggressive so we will need to make sure we’re up to the tempo and pressure.”
The New Zealand Men face trans-Tasman rivals Australia in their final match of the pool phase at 6:30pm tomorrow (NZ time), with live coverage on TVNZ Duke.
New Zealand 5: (Kane Russell 3’, 30’, 34’, Jared Panchia 4’, Hugo Inglis 50’)
Scotland 2: (Alan Forsyth 20’, 53’)
Halftime: New Zealand 3-1