SA begin 2010 Hockey World Cup against Spain

2010-02-27 00:00

THE 20 000-seat National Hockey Stadium in Delhi, India will be the stage for South Africa’s first 2010 Hockey World Cup match when they take on 2008 Beijing Olympic Games finalists Spain at 1.05 pm tomorrow.

With all South Africa’s matches live on SuperSport, it gives an ideal opportunity for KZN fans to see top-class hockey.

Late this week SA played a practice match of sorts against the Netherlands, while the world’s third-ranked Spain drew two warm-up Tests against the Dutch, so both sides should be up for their World Cup opener.

Head coach Gregg Clark’s side under world-rated captain Austin Smith are 13th in the world rankings and will be underdogs against Spain, but over the past year or so there has been an injection of fresh energy in the squad and provided SA raise their game and catch the Spaniards on the back foot, an upset isn’t out of the question.

SA team: Paul Blake, Ian Haley, Austin Smith (capt), Rassie Pieterse (all WP), Shanyl Balwanth, Gareth Carr, Marvin Harper, Lloyd Madsen, Taine Paton, Wade Paton (all KZN Coastal), Brendon Botes (EP), Rhett Halkett, Jonty Robinson (both Northerns), Tommy Hammond (KZN Inland), Julian Hykes (Border), Thornton McDade, Lloyd Norris-Jones (both Southern Gauteng), Justin Reid-Ross (North West).

SuperSport — Sunday: SA vs Spain (1 pm). Tuesday: SA vs England (1 pm). Thursday: SA vs Australia (1 pm). Saturday: SA vs Pakistan (3 pm). Next Monday: SA vs India (5 pm).

•The finals/classification matches will be scheduled as per SA standings in the tournament, closer to the time.

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