Blacks vow to compete

CONTROLLED emotion, patience and application of strategy will see underdogs All Blacks account for Cities this weekend, according to coach Craig Martin.

The highly-credentialed mentor said his young side had come a long way this season to put themselves in a position to secure an unlikely finals berth.

The fire and conflict that is usually associated with a Cities v All Blacks clash will not be an issue, Martin says, with his team intent on keeping their emotions in check.

“Our goal is to develop young men as well as hockey players,” he said.

“Spur of the moment and raw emotion hockey will not win this game, putting the strategies together on the pitch will.”

He took solace from their dissection of a stubborn Arrows-Athletics last weekend.

“I was fairly comfortable with how they played there, they just didn't put them away as quickly as I would have liked,” Martin said.

“Having said that I think people don't realise how long a game of hockey is. It is not won immediately and the boys showed good patience last week.”

The 2008 premiers have always possessed the raw talent to blitz teams, but it has been inconsistency that has plagued them this year.

“I would have liked more of that this year, but it all comes down to confidence and there has been a gradual increase in that over the last few months,” he said.

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