SA men face stiff stick Test

2008-01-10 00:00

The South African men’s hockey team have a huge challenge ahead of them as they go into this weekend’s Test matches against Great Britain and Canada at Queensmead in Durban.

The SA performance in the recent Four Nations tournament in Chile was "not good enough", national coach Gregg Clarke told The Witness yesterday, which gives today’s 6 pm Test against Great Britain even greater significance.

Further, SA captain Bruce Jacobs will be keen to follow up a strong team showing against the men from the British Isles with an even better effort in the Test match versus Canada at Queensmead come 4 pm tomorrow.

South Africa, without a number of their best players, ended fourth and last in Chile behind winners Argentina, finalists Ireland and the hosts.

It must be noted, though, that Clarke is working towards the Beijing Olympics in August and used this tour to give a variety of fringe players the chance to stake their claim. Further, most of this experimental SA team had not picked up a stick in earnest since the end of the domestic season and had primarily been involved in fitness and conditioning work leading up to Chile.

For the record, SA beat Chile 3-0 in their pool game before losing 1-0 to the same side in the classification match, with Argentina beating Ireland 2-1 in the final.

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