U21 Hockey: SA men need to hit their straps against Ghana

2012-10-16 00:00

BOTH the SA U21 men’s and women’s head coaches are expecting more from their players when the Junior World Cup Africa qualifier tournament resumes at Randburg Hockey Stadium today.

The SA men tackle Ghana at 4 pm and the women face Kenya at 2 pm, which will be the second match for the SA teams. Tuesday’s other matches see Kenya’s men against Zimbabwe at 12 pm and Namibia’s women against Zimbabwe at 10 am.

SA men’s head coach Darryn Gallagher said after training yesterday that he was not particularly happy with his team’s 11-0 win over Zimbabwe on Sunday. “A lot of guys haven’t had match practice for a month. We took time to get into our pattern and our basics, and finishing let us down,” said Gallagher.

South Africa’s penalty corner was a big weapon, with Matt Guise-Brown nailing five goals with his blistering drag-flick, Grant Glutz one and the other coming from a rebound in the 18 PCs that the team earned against Zimbabwe.

“It was a good conversion rate,” said Gallagher, who also singled out right half Mohamed Mea and striker Ignatius Malgraff for their impressive performances.

The SA men need to begin hitting their straps against the physical, energetic Ghanaians, as Wednesday’s 4 pm encounter with the impressive Egyptian team looks set to be a cracker.

SA women’s head coach Lindsey Wright felt her team started nervously before settling down in the 9-0 win over Namibia. She praised centre back-midfielder Taryn Mallett for her sound contribution.

“There is a lot to be done, but I anticipate the team will progress on an upward curve towards Saturday’s playoffs,” said Wright. “We are working on some subtleties. Some players are getting used to unfamiliar positions, but a lot of our girls need to search for better games. Every player needs to up their game by 25% to what they are giving now.” Wright said the team would approach Kenya with respect. “They run hard and are physically capable.”

SA TEAMS

Women: Demi du Toit, Christine Roos, Nika Nel, Kaila Flemming (all Southern Gauteng); Nicole La Fleur, Erin Hunter, Bronwyn Kretzmann, Quanita Bobbs, Taryn Mallet (all Western Province); Phumelela Mbande, Lilian du Plessis, Jacinta Jubb (all Northern Blues); Nicole Walraven, Izelle Lategan (capt), Tanya Britz (all Free State); Tiffany Jones, Lisa Hawker (both Amathole [formerly Border]); Nicole Kemp (Eastern Province).

Men: Michael Abrahams (EP); Taylor Dart, Brad Logan, Grant Robertson, Dylan Swanepoel, Shannon Boucher (all WP); Richard Curtis, Andrew Manson, Mohamed Mea (all KZN Coastal); Rene de la Peyre, Grant Glutz, Ross Gonsalves, Matthew Guise-Brown (all Northern Blues); Gareth Heyns, Clinton Panther (both Southern Gauteng); Robin Jones (capt), Damian Kimfley (both KZN Inland); Ignatius Malgraff (North West).

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