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Rhinos hand Wizards their first loss of the tournament

Ranchi Rhinos handed UP Wizards their first defeat of the inaugural Hero Hockey India League when they got the better of the visitors 3-1 at the Astroturf Hockey stadium here on Thursday.

Strikes from Skipper Moritz Fuerste (27th minute) and Nick Wilson (67th) and a penalty stroke by Ashley Jackson (69th) proved enough for the hosts to collect five points, while Luke Doerner (53rd minute) scored the consolation goal for the visitors.

Despite the two goal margin of victory, Rhinos’ coach Gregg Clark would not be happy with the fact that the match was alive till the 67th minute because of their strikers suspect shooting and would be indebted to goalkeeper Francisco Cortes to keep them in the hunt till then.

Earlier, egged on by a vociferous crowd, the Rhinos were the first to get off the block and raided the opposition citadel at regular intervals but their forward lines inability to keep their composure in the striking circle meant that the Wizards custodian was never under any real threat.

Both the teams were guilty of not showing the precision required to score the goals inside the striking circle till Nick Wilson beat the Wizards’ custodian with a reverse hit from the left, three minutes from the final hooter. Ashley Jackson then converted the penalty stroke in the last minute to complete the score line.

In their next home match, Ranchi Rhinos take on Dabur Mumbai Magicians on 28 January, at the Astroturf Hockey Stadium at 8 pm and Wizards will play their next home match against Ranchi Rhinos at ton 26 January at 3 p.m.
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