SA Polo team to face U.S. in Hillcrest

2014-09-04 00:00

HILLCREST once again plays host to the first Test of the BMW International Polo Series this Sunday when South Africa face the USA for the first time since 2002.

The prestigious event is the first of two Tests and will be played at the Durban Shongweni Club. The second Test will be hosted at the Waterfall Polo Estate in Sunninghill, Johannesburg, next weekend.

South Africa welcome the American team on their first tour of the country in over 10 years. The USA have previously toured SA on five different occasions. The Americans have a bit of an advantage having won three of the last encounters.

However, the South African side will put up a keen fight, as both teams are quite evenly matched. South Africa have a 21-goal handicap while the USA is just behind them with a 20-goal handicap.

The South African team consists of Captain Tom de Bruin (seven), Davey Evans (four), Dirk van Reenen (four) and Gareth Evans (six) and reserve Mike Osborn (four) while America is represented by Captain Memo Gracida (seven), Scott Devon (two), Mike Azarro (seven) and Tomas Collingwood (four).

However, the Americans are not to be underestimated, with both Gracida and Azarro having had 10-goal handicaps (highest in polo) in the past. Gracido also holds the record for the most U.S. Open victories (16) and the most consecutive years as an American 10-goaler (21).

There promises to be plenty of action on the day as events begin at 11.30 am with the BMW Development trophy curtain raiser.

That will be followed by a BMW car and motorcycle display between 1 pm and 1.40 pm.

The action then gets under way with the national anthems at 2.20 pm. The match begins at 2.30 pm.

Condolences go out to the Gracida family who tragically lost Memo’s brother, Carlos, in a Polo accident earlier this year.

Carlos was regarded as one of the most accomplished players in the history of the game. In 1987, 1988 and 1994, his teams won Polo’s major tournaments in Argentina, the United States and Britain, which has not been repeated since.

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