Rio 2016: New Zealand Team Sports

The NZ Women's Hockey team is ranked 4th heading to the Olympics in Rio. Photo: olympic.org.nz

Newsbeat journalist Braeden Leggett gives a rundown on the team sports and what key names to look out for in the Rio Olympics 2016.

Listen to some of his audio commentary below:

Football Ferns (Women’s New Zealand Football Team):

The football ferns will be entering their third Olympics and are currently ranked as the 17th best international women’s football team in the world.

Despite the New Zealand football men’s team failing to qualify for an Olympic spot, the football ferns will be striving for a medal.

However, the Kiwi team has been placed in a very solid pool group featuring the best team in the world – USA. New Zealand will also be facing France, who are ranked third and Columbia ranked 24th.

Football Ferns Pool Matches:
3 August – New Zealand vs United States
6 August – New Zealand vs Columbia
9 August – New Zealand vs France

If New Zealand can win two matches out of the three, the football Ferns will progress to the quarter-finals.

Field Hockey Men’s Black Sticks:

The Men’s Black Sticks will again compete at another Olympics and hope to improve their previous Olympic placing of ninth place. The New Zealand men’s hockey team is currently ranked eighth best in the world.

The Black Sticks will be in a pool group featuring; Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Great Britain and Spain.

Men’s Black Sticks Pool Matches:
6 August – New Zealand vs Australia
7 August – New Zealand vs Great Britain
9 August – New Zealand vs Spain
10 August – New Zealand vs Brazil
12 August – New Zealand vs Belgium

If New Zealand can win three matches out of the five, the Black Sticks will progress to the Quarter Finals.

Field Hockey Women’s Black Sticks:

The Women’s Black Sticks will be entering the Rio Olympics as the fourth-ranked team in the world. They will be aiming for a medal after just missing out at the London Olympics in 2012 when they placed fourth.

The Black Sticks will be in a pool group featuring; China, Germany, Netherlands, South Korea and Spain.

Women’s Black Sticks Pool Matches:
7 August – New Zealand vs South Korea
8 August – New Zealand vs Germany
10 August – New Zealand vs Spain
12 August – New Zealand vs Netherlands
13 August – New Zealand vs China

If New Zealand can win three matches out of the five, the Black Sticks will progress to the Quarter Finals.

New Zealand Men’s Rugby Sevens Team:

This will be the first time Rugby Sevens features in the Olympics and the men’s New Zealand rugby sevens team have a shot at claiming a medal as they enter Rio as the third-ranked team in the world.

The New Zealand men’s rugby sevens team will be in a pool group featuring; Great Britain, Kenya and Japan.

New Zealand Men’s Rugby Sevens Team Pool Matches:
9 August – New Zealand vs Japan
9 August – New Zealand vs Kenya
10 August – New Zealand vs Great Britain

If New Zealand can win two matches out of the three, the New Zealand rugby sevens team will progress to the Quarter Finals.

New Zealand Women’s Rugby Sevens Team:

This will be the first time rugby sevens features in the Olympics and the women’s New Zealand rugby sevens team have a shot at claiming a medal as they enter Rio as the second-ranked team in the world.

The New Zealand women’s rugby sevens team will be in a pool group featuring; France, Spain and Kenya.

New Zealand Women’s Rugby Sevens Team Pool Matches:
6 August – New Zealand vs Kenya
6 August – New Zealand vs Spain
7 August – New Zealand vs France

If New Zealand can win two matches out of the three, the New Zealand rugby sevens team will progress to the Quarter Finals.

Sonny Bill Williams and the NZ men's sevens teams as second favourites for Rio. Photo: olympic.org.nz
Sonny Bill Williams and the NZ men’s sevens teams as second favourites for Rio. Photo: olympic.org.nz

Comment: 

The New Zealand football team have done very well in making the Olympic qualifications. However, with USA and France in their pool, I would say it is very hard for the Kiwi team to progress through to the knockout stages. But we could see a miracle!

The two hockey teams both have a good chance to claim a medal. I believe the New Zealand female team is better than our men’s team, but we can likely see a medal from one of the teams nonetheless.

Rugby. New Zealand’s national sport. We can pretty much guarantee a medal from both the men’s and women’s event. It just all depends on what colour will that medal be. Seeing as this is the first time the sevens has made the Olympics, I would love to see New Zealand claim the first gold.

Braeden Leggett
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