TODAY |

Black Sticks Men open Hockey World Cup campaign with win over France

The Black Sticks Men have started their Hockey World Cup with a win, downing France 2-1 in Bhubaneswar, India, overnight.

Coming into the tournament ranked seventh in the world, New Zealand opened with a well earned victory over 20th-ranked France.

Kane Russell opened the scoring in the second quarter, giving the Kiwis a 1-0 lead at the break.

Jenness, who was named man of the match, doubled New Zealand's lead in the final quarter, rifling a shot past French goalkeeper Arthur Thieffry from just inside the circle.

France grabbed a goal back in the final minutes,  with captain Victor Charlet converting from a penalty corner, but it wouldn't be enough as the Black Sticks' defence held for the final 90 seconds.

The Black Sticks Men are next in action against Argentina on Tuesday morning NZT, with a win all but certain to guarantee a spot in the quarterfinals.