SA upbeat about China challenge

2012-04-30 00:00

THE unbeaten South Africa men’s hockey team might have conceded three soft goals in their opening Olympic Qualifier Tournament matches here but assistant coach Kurt Cerfontyne backs his boys ahead of the crunch clash with unbeaten China at 11.30 am (SA time) today.

SA beat Brazil 11-1 and Czech Republic 6-2, but the two field goal that went over keeper Rassie Pieterse’s line against the Czechs and the penalty corner past Michael Smith against Brazil were disappointing — and not necessarily because of mistakes the goalkeepers might have made.

“Yes, we did concede two soft field goals against the Czechs — that can happen — but our defensive penalty corners were really good and Rassie made a world-class save when the Czechs used a penalty corner variation,” said Cerfontyne before the final practice yesterday.

And SA’s defensive corner play will be put to the test by China, who have a very good set-piece. “China put a lot into this tournament in the build-up, as we all did, but it’s interesting how much space they have been given on the ball by their opponents here, and we back ourselves 100% against them,” said Cerfontyne.

SA captain Austin Smith backs his team’s defensive structure as well, “as long as we keep control I don’t see us conceding too many goals,” he said after the Czech match.

The match can be followed on Twitter @ FIH_Hockey from 11.30 am (SA time).


Goalkeepers: Rassie Pieterse (Southern Gauteng), Michael Smith (Witwatersrand).

Defenders: Andrew Cronjé (Western Province), Justin Reid-Ross (Northern Blues), Lance Louw (SG), Lloyd Madsen (KZN Coastal Raiders), Rhett Halkett (NB).

Midfielders: Jonty Robinson (NB), Clinton Panther (SG), Austin Smith (capt, WP), Tim Drummond (KCR), Wade Paton (KCR), Taine Paton (KCR).

Strikers: Ian Haley (WP), Marvin Harper (KCR), Lloyd Norris-Jones (WP), Julian Hykes (Amathole-Border), Thornton McDade (SG).


April 26: South Africa 11 Brazil 1; April 28: South Africa 6 Czech Republic 2; April 30: vs China (11.30 am SA time); May 2: vs Japan (9 am SA time); May 4: vs Austria (11.30 am SA time); May 6: Classification matches (5/6 places); (3/4 places); final (8 am SA time).

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions. publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.