On-song SA hockey women outplay Oz

2013-01-30 00:00

THE South African women’s hockey team, ranked 11th in the world, defeated No. 6 Australia 4-0 in their unofficial Test match in Cape Town last night.

Superb flat-stick tackling, with defenders Lisa Deetlefs and Lenise Marais outstanding, stymied the Hockeyroos’ quick-fire attacks for the most part, and the result was that SA dominated the game.

The reward was a rebound goal by SA U21 captain Izelle Lategan in the eighth minute from her team’s second penalty corner.

Then it was the irresistible world record goal-scorer Pietie Coetzee (258 goals in 258 Tests) who eschewed her trademark drag-flick for a conventional shot that smashed into the backboard in the 23rd minute off South Africa’s eighth penalty corner (2-0).

After the half-time changeover, Coetzee cracked a pinpoint 25 metre diagonal pass from the left touchline that found Mayne, who was at last rewarded for her efforts with a nifty finish from inside the six-yard box (3-0).

With four minutes left — and from SA’s umpteenth penalty corner of the match — Dirkie Chamberlain finished off a goalmouth scramble for the 4-0 scoreline.

The Hockeyroos had their chances, but SA stopper Sanani Mangisa repelled everything that came her way from the likes of Georgia Nanscawen, Teneal Attard and Casey Eastham, while on another day Mangisa’s team-mates, including Deetlefs and Bernie Coston, might have scored a bagful more.

The victory also bodes well for South Africa’s chances against the Hockeyroos when the teams next meet — in the Investec Challenge at Hartleyvale on February 5 — but you can be sure the girls from Down Under will be scrutinising the video of last night’s match in minute detail in an effort to ensure that the tables will be turned.

The second round of unofficial Test matches in preparation for the prestigious Investec Challenge event kicks off next Monday.

World number one and 2012 London Olympic Games gold medallists Holland will take on South Africa at 8 pm tomorrow, preceded by world number four and London Olympic Games bronze medallists England tackling the Hockeyroos at 6 pm.

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