SA team aim for top four finish

2013-06-29 00:00

THE world’s 12th-ranked South Africa men’s hockey team embark on an ambitious plan to finish in the top four of the eight-team World League semi-final tournament in Johor, Malaysia, when they take on world number four England in the first round of matches in Pool B today.

The South Africa versus England match is at 3 pm (SA time) today and is live on SuperSport 7.

SA meet world number 13 Malaysia tomorrow at 3 pm (SuperSport 4) and the final Pool B match is against world number five Pakistan at 3 pm on Tuesday (SuperSport 7).

Success in the back-to-back matches will set South Africa up for a productive week, and a top- four placing in the tournament will almost certainly qualify South Africa for a place in the eight-team World League final tournament in Delhi in January next year.

It will also almost certainly ensure that the South Africans qualify for the 2014 World Cup in The Hague, Netherlands, next June.

The last time South Africa met England was at the London 2012 Olympic Games, a match that ended in a draw, where a contentious video referral might have cost SA full match points.

SA have recently come off a 3-0 series win over Malaysia and the host nation will be hell-bent on revenge tomorrow, but an impressive 4-1 win over Japan in a practice match bodes well for the South Africans.

SA striker Julian Hykes was in great form in the Malaysia series and will hopefully have recovered from the health problems that saw him miss the Japan game.

The teams in Pool A are world number one Germany as well as Argentina, Korea and Japan.


Rassie Pieterse (Southern Gauteng), Gowan Jones (KZN Coastal Raiders); Austin Smith (capt, Western Province), Francois Pretorius (Northern Blues), Rhett Halkett (vice-capt, WP), Lance Louw (SG), Jethro Eustice (SG); Jonty Robinson (NB), Clint Panther (SG), Wade Paton (KCR), Tim Drummond (KCR), Nick Gonsalves (SG), Taine Paton (KCR); Julian Hykes (SG), Craig Haley (WP), Pierre de Voux (WP), Miguel da Graca (SG), Lloyd Norris-Jones (WP).

South Africa’s Pool B Fixtures (all 3 pm SA time): Today - vs England (SuperSport 7); Tomorrow - vs Malaysia (SS 4); Tuesday - vs Pakistan (SS 7).

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