Britain champions in 2015 could have won the game easily but faltered after taking a two-goal lead. But a goal in the 35thminute allowed them to romp home with 3-2 narrow win.
It took the former champions Britain just four minutes to start the scoring. Mathew Ramshaw scored a field goal off a quick counter-attack.
It was the Britain team that controlled the game and in no time increased their lead.
They pressed on and an attack in the 12th minutes resulted in a penalty stroke. Cameron Golden easily converted the flick to give his team a 2-0 first quarter lead.
The Kiwis fought back and in the second half had the better of the exchanges.
In the 23rd minute, they pulled a goal back when Maks Wyndham-Smith scored from close range after receiving the ball in D.
Both teams had a penalty corner each in the second quarter, but both the attempts fell flat.
The Kiwis drew level in the 33rdminute with a Jordan Ward field goal but that lasted just two minutes. The Britain team earning their second penalty corner managed to regain the lead with a penalty corner goal through Edward Way.
Britain coach Jon Belby was disappointed with his team’s defensive display as they allowed the Kiwis to come back from 2-0 down.
“Overall, I must say that we controlled the game and had more chances. We should have won by a bigger margin. The defensive lapse cost us two goals and the match could have gone the other way. But the players held on and netted the winner to take all three points
“I hope to see a better performance against Japan and go all out to win the match as well,” he added.
For New Zealand coach Collin Bryce, a draw would have been a deserved result.
“Yes, I would think that we should have taken a point off them. We came back strongly in the second and third quarters. But they were a shade better in the end. We will try and improve further as we go along,” he said.