Stern test for SA women in Europe

2008-06-10 00:00

The first leg of the Spar South Africa women’s hockey team’s tour to Europe begins in earnest today.

South Africa meet hosts Ireland in Dublin today, in the first match of a Four Nations tournament in the Irish capital that also includes Germany and Great Britain.

The second leg of the European tour that serves as the SA team’s final match preparation for August’s Olympic Games in Beijing, China, sees captain Marsha Marescia’s side move to Rotterdam in the Netherlands to take on the hosts, Great Britain and India in another Four Nations event that is scheduled to take place from June 24 to 28.

“They are both great preparation for the Olympic Games,” said Spar SA coach Jenny King.

“Germany recently finished second to Argentina in the Champions Trophy, which is played for between the top six hockey nations on the world rankings, while the Netherlands were also there.

We haven’t played Great Britain for a couple of years, so it will be good to test ourselves against them.

“Except for India and Ireland, who didn’t qualify for the 12-team Olympics, we will all be going to Beijing. The experience of playing strong teams like these will be invaluable.”

SA TEAM

Mariette Rix (WP), Sanani Mangisa (Nor), Cindy Brown (WP), Taryn Hosking (WP), Vidette Ryan (WP), Lenise Marais (WP), Lisa Marie Deetlefs (SG), Fiona Butler (SG), Kate Hector (WP), Marsha Marescia (SG), Kathleen Taylor (WP), Tarryn Bright (WP), Lesley-Ann George (NW), Jen Wilson (KZN), Vida Ryan (WP), Shelly Russell (WP), Henna du Bussion (WP), Farah Fredericks (WP).

SA FIXTURES

Dublin — SA vs Ireland (today); vs Great Britain (tomorrow); vs Germany (Saturday);

classification playoffs (Sunday).

Rotterdam — SA vs Netherlands (June 24); SA vs Great Britain (June 25); SA vs India (June 27);

classification playoffs (June 28).

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