The Summer of hockey between Ireland and South Africa came to its conclusion tonight at Maties Stadium in Stellenbosch. The summer of course kicked off with an indoor hockey test series between the two nations, before the outdoor sides locked horns this week with a firm eye on the Tokyo shaped horizon speeding towards us. The two teams will play their opening games against one another on the 25 July at the Olympic games.

Ireland had won the opening two games with convincing displays, but the character of a South African will shine through brightest when our backs are against a wall. And this is the way the hosts started in the bright sun of the Western Cape.

Robyn Johnson found space down the right-hand side and fired in a cross that the Irish defence was unable to deal with. Nomnikelo Veto was the quickest to react to the loose ball and fired home on the dive past a helpless Murphy in the Irish goal. It was Veto’s second of the series and her fifth in her 15 International games so far. It was exactly the kind of start coach Robin van Ginkel would have been hoping for.

South Africa were having a fair amount of the ball in and around the Irish defensive quarter but were failing to get as many penetrations as their performance deserved and were left to pay for it in the second quarter. Ireland hit the post after a thrilling counterattack before winning a penalty corner from the same play. Although the initial slap was saved, the ball rebounded to injector Hannah Matthews, who after 145 test caps was never going to miss.

At 1-1 South Africa created a wonderful opportunity through a superb drive by Kristen Paton but her finishing was off target. Had she scored it would have been one of the goals of the summer. It was clear that Paton and Quanita Bobbs were growing in influence in the game in the third quarter which is why the timing of the Irish second would have frustrated the South Africans.

Just before the break at the end of the third quarter the South Africans needlessly gave away a penalty corner with a poor tackle. Roisin Upton showed the value of a quality drag flick as she finished superbly. The South Africans had two penalty corner opportunities to pull the game level and grab a few ranking points but were unable to breach the Irish defence and ultimately had to settle for a 2-1 defeat.

It was a clearly improved performance, but the South Africans will have their work cut out for the remainder of the Summer Series as they face Germany over three tests on 30 January, 2 February and 4 February. For Ireland its job well done and focus on further preparations.

Summer Series – SA vs. Ireland – Results

First Test – SA 0-1 Ireland
Second Test – SA 1-5 Ireland
Third Test – SA 1-2 Ireland

Image – Kim Clayton Photography – Not for Reuse

Since the opening test both teams have been hard at work in Stellenbosch working towards their goals for the Tokyo Olympics. The South Africans were in action against the SA Invitational U21’s and Netherlands U21 while Ireland took on Netherlands U21 and Germany in a test match.

The South Africans had competed well in parts of the first test but the second test was all Ireland as they punished every mistake by the South Africans with ruthless efficiency. Anna O’Flanagan was at the heart of the first goal, laying off to Katie Mullan and then picking up Ellen Curran’s pass, leading to a reverse across goal which Nikki Evans turned in.

Two goals in a minute before half-time made it 3-0. Shirley McCay’s sweep hit a foot on the line and Lena Tice scored the ensuing stroke. Roisin Upton created and scored the third, stepping through to rob possession on halfway and she piled forward, feeding Evans who returned the favour for the Limerick woman to net.

O’Flanagan got her own goal early in the second half before Nomnikelo Veto got one back in 40th minute. Sarah Hawkshaw’s corner goal, however, finished off the scoring toward the end of the third quarter.

For the South Africans it was a case of back to the drawing room with a lot of work to do over the remainder of the series, while for Ireland it was a happy result after their 4-0 defeat to Germany on Saturday.

The two teams lock horns again on Tuesday night at 19:00 for the final test of their series. Although Ireland have already won the series, there are still world ranking points up for grabs as the South Africans look to close the gap between them in 16th and Ireland in 8th.

Earlier in the night the SA Invitational side gave a spirited performance before going down 3-1 to the Netherlands U21, Mishka Ellis creating more highlights on an already impressive CV.

Picture – Kim Clayton Photography, not for reuse.

In 2018 Ireland headed off to the Vitality Women’s Hockey World Cup and shocked the world as they produced a sensational run of form to make the final of the tournament. Since that tournament the Irish qualified for the Tokyo Olympic games, triumphing over Giles Bonnett’s Canada, and played 32 test matches.

They would be the perfect opposition for Robin van Ginkel’s SuperGroup South Africa as they began the next step of their preparation on the Road to Tokyo. The South Africans have been starved for Test Match hockey having played just 12 tests in the same time, but would be returning to Maties, the ground where they became champions of Africa in August last year.

The game had an added degree of excitement as firstly the two teams have been drawn in the same pool for the Olympic Games. Secondly, the new ranking system introduced by the FIH, is now live and for the first time ever a Summer Series Test match would earn ranking points. To round of the excitement the game marked Kara Botes 50th test cap for South Africa, becoming only the second South African women to earn 50 in both indoor and outdoor hockey after Kelly Reed.

The South Africans, giving Tarryn Mallet her debut, started the game well with some good possession but were unable to make their few big chances count. Quanita Bobbs arguably had the best opportunity but found her strike well saved by Elizabeth Murphy. Ireland on the other hand made the most of their big opportunity scoring a goal through Elena Tice who converted superbly from the penalty corner at a blustering Stellenbosch Hockey Stadium.

Coach Robin van Ginkel would have seen many positives from his team, but also have areas to work on ahead of their next games. Ireland will next be in action against Netherlands U21 on Tuesday, while the South Africans will take on the SA U21 Invitational Side on Wednesday.

SA Women’s Hockey Summer Series Fixtures

19 January - SA 0-1 Ireland
22 January – SA vs. SA Invitational U21
23 January – SA vs. Netherlands U21
26 January – SA vs. Ireland
28 January – SA vs. Ireland
30 January – SA vs. Germany
2 February – SA vs. Germany
4 February – SA vs. Germany

Image - Kim Clayton - Not for reuse

The South African Women’s Hockey side are bracing for a bumper 7 months that will culminate in their confirmed participation in the Tokyo Olympic Games in July. The first step of this journey is the squad heading down to Stellenbosch where they will take on the SA Invitational U21 side, Netherlands U21, Ireland and Germany.

The SA Hockey Women’s squad has today been announced for the Summer Series. It’s a massive opportunity for all the players selected to stake a claim for a place on the plain to Tokyo later this year.

Lilian du Plessis, the top scorer in the African Hockey Road to Tokyo event, as well as Ongeziwe Mali, player of tournament in Stellenbosch will return to their happy hunting ground. While Kara Botes and Robyn Johnson will hope to bring the great indoor hockey form to the outdoor team.

Erin Hunter and Nicole Walraven may both be wearing new names on their backs, following their respective nuptials, but that defensive brilliance will still be on show.

SA Women’s Hockey Squad for Summer Series

No

Name

Province

1

Stephanie Baxter

North West

2

Quanita Bobbs

Western Province

3

Kara Botes

Southern Gauteng

4

Dirkie Chamberlain

Western Province

5

Lisa Deetlefs

Southern Gauteng

6

Lilian du Plessis

Southern Gauteng

7

Celia Evans

Northern Blues

8

Tegan Fourie

KZN Raiders

9

Erin Hunter

Southern Gauteng

10

Robyn Johnson

Southern Gauteng

11

Ongeziwe Mali

Eastern Province

12

Tarryn Mallet

Southern Gauteng

13

Marizen Marais

Northern Blues

14

Mmatshepo Modipane

Southern Gauteng

15

Kristen Paton

Southern Gauteng

16

Hannah Pearce

Southern Gauteng

17

Sylvia van Jaarsveldt

Southern Gauteng

18

Marelize van Tonder

Southern Gauteng

19

Nomnikelo Veto

Southern Gauteng

20

Nicole Walraven

Northern Blues

21

Bianca Wood

Border

22

Ontathile Zulu

SA U21

 

SA Women’s Hockey Summer Series Fixtures

 

The SA Hockey Association are pleased to announce the SA Womens 2019/2020 Squad as coach Robin van Ginkel prepares for the next period of his reign.

The squad selected features 41 players that impressed selectors at the August IPT in Bloemfontein. The Final was contested by Northern Blues and Southern Gauteng, with tournament top player Celia Evans included in van Ginkel’s squad along with fiver of her team mates. A further three players that were exempt from the IPT for either medical or academic purposes are also included.

Although the immediate focus of the squad is the Olympic Games in Tokyo next year, there is an added focus on building a squad capable of competing in the build up to and including the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations, the FIH Hockey World Cup and the Commonwealth Games in 2022.

Van Ginkel has continued his blend of youth and experience with the likes of Dirkie Chamberlain, Lisa Deetlefs, Lilian du Plessis and Quanita Bobbs in the squad, the youngsters will have players who have played in the biggest tournaments to look up to and learn from.

There are also a host of youngsters including Mishka Ellis, Edith Molikoe and Nepo Serage, who should they impress and make a final tournament squad, will be in line to earn their first caps for their country. What is certain is that it is an exciting time for the African Champions.

#

Player Name

Province

 

1

Kirsty Adams

North West

2

Stephanie Baxter

North West

3

Quanita Bobbs

Western Province

4

Kara Botes

Southern Gauteng

5

Casey-Jean Botha

Free State

6

Stephanie Botha

Western Province

7

Dirkie Chamberlain

Western Province

8

Isabella da Rocha

Southern Gauteng

9

Ashley Datnow

Southern Gauteng

10

Lisa Deetlefs

Southern Gauteng

11

Lilian du Plessis

Southern Gauteng

12

Courtney du Preez

North West

13

Mishka Eliis

SA U21

14

Celia Evans

Northerns Blues

15

Tegan Fourie

KZN Raiders

16

Tarryn Glasby

Western Province

17

Simone Gouws

Free State

18

Erin Hunter

Southern Gauteng

19

Lizanne Jacobs

Free State

20

Lezaan Jansen van Vuuren

SA U21

21

Robyn Johnson

Southern Gauteng

22

Jessica Lardant

KZN Raiders

23

Charne Maddocks

North West

24

Ongeziwe Mali

Eastern Province

25

Tarryn Mallet

Southern Gauteng

26

Marizen Marais

Northerns Blues

27

Toni Marks

Eastern Province

28

Jade Mayne

Western Province

29

Phumelela Mbande

Northerns Blues

30

Mmatshepo Modipane

Southern Gauteng

31

Edith Molikoe

SA U21

32

Kristen Paton

Southern Gauteng

33

Hannah Pearce

Southern Gauteng

34

Nepo Serage

SA U21

35

Shindre-Lee Simmons

Free State

36

Sandi Tabata

Western Province

37

Sylvia van Jaarsveldt

Southern Gauteng

38

Marelize van Tonder

Southern Gauteng

39

Marguerite van Wyk

Northerns Blues

40

Izelle Verster

Northerns Blues

41

Nomnikelo Veto

Southern Gauteng

42

Nicole Walraven

Northerns Blues

43

Bianca Wood

Border

44

Onthathile Zulu

SA U21

At the recent African Hockey Road to Tokyo Event in Stellenbosch, the African Hockey Congress took place where the new board was elected. It gives SA Hockey great pride to announce that Sheila Brown has been elected as the Vice President of African Hockey.

South African Hockey is immensely dedicated to the development of African Hockey and are pleased at this opportunity to continue building our relationship with the African Hockey Federation.

Further to this the African Hockey Federation took the opportunity to hold their first ever elections to form the African Hockey Athletes Committee. Former South African Captain Marsha Cox led the initiative and was on hand to announce the athletes committee after the final games in Stellenbosch.

The Athletes Committee is formed in order to represent the athlete’s viewpoints in decision making and support athletes to succeed in their sporting and non-sporting careers.

The African Hockey Federation Athletes Committee will consist of six members, three male and three females. Four of the six were elected at the Road to Tokyo event with South Africa’s very own recently retired Ilse Davids being elected.

We are proud of Ilse and Sheila and wish them both well in their respective new roles.

Lilian du Plessis was the star of the show for SuperGroup South Africa as they confirmed their title as champions of the African Hockey Road to Tokyo 2020. The South African striker netted a hat-trick including the goal of the tournament with a top corner off the crossbar strike.

Du Plessis opened the scoring from a penalty corner before Robyn Johnson pounced on a rebound to make it 2-0. Before the end of the first quarter Du Plessis had made it 3 with a low and wide penalty corner. The score remained the same until the break with the Ghanaians seeing a lot of possession but failing to create too many opportunities.

The third quarter saw the hosts please the crowd once again as Sylvia van Jaarsveldt got herself on the scoresheet with a splendid deflection. She was playing with a bloody nose after getting a solid strike so she will be pleased with the strike. Then came the goal of the game when Du Plessis surged into the D before firing in a tomahawk strike into the roof of the net. Lisa-Marie Deetlefs added the gloss to the score line with the final strike and confirmation that South Africa had earned the African Hockey spot at the Tokyo Olympics.

Zimbabwe secured the bronze medal with a fantastic 3-2 win over their Southern African neighbours Namibia. Needing to win to secure the third-place medal, Zimbabwe surged to a 3-0 lead thanks to Sophie McDonald and a brace from Nicola Watson. Although they seemed destined for the victory the Namibians produced their best quarter of the tournament to set up a bumper fightback. Tarmarie Myburgh and Phea Gerber pulled it back but the Zimbabweans held on for the victory.

Lilian du Plessis was named the top goalscorer of the tournament while Nicola Watson and Ongi Mali shared the top player award. Jordyne Cripstone and Cristina Onyango shared the goalkeeper of the tournament award.

African Hockey Road to Tokyo 2020 Results – 18 August 2019

Namibia 2-3 Zimbabwe
South Africa 6-0 Ghana

African Hockey Road to Tokyo 2020 Final Positions

  1. South Africa
  2. Ghana
  3. Zimbabwe
  4. Kenya
  5. Namibia

Photos - Eunice Visagie

The SuperGroup South African squad has been announced for the 2019 African Hockey Road to Tokyo Event in Stellenbosch from the 12-18 August 2019. The six-times defending African Champions will be looking to make it sweet 7 against six other African nations and claim the title as the best hockey nation in the continent.

The South African squad selected includes the five debutants that earned their first caps against Namibia in the test series before the FIH Hockey Series Final and has a very similar feel to the team that went to Spain.

A squad of 20 is being announced, which will be trimmed down to 18 for the final event. Sylvia van Jaarsveldt earns a recall having last represented South Africa in Egypt in 2017, while Onthathile Zulu will be in line to earn her first cap.

“WE have kept a similar squad as we are looking on building on the processes we put in place for Spain. There is a continued good mix of youth and experience which will allow the younger players to develop. We are determined to go out there and defend our crown on home soil!” shared Robin van Ginkel, the Head Coach of the SuperGroup SA team

The SuperGroup South African side are in Group A alongside Kenya and Nigeria. The top two teams in the group will progress to the semi-finals and line up against either Namibia, Ghana, Zimbabwe or Uganda.

South African Women’s Hockey Squad

No

Player

Province

Caps

1

Erin Hunter (captain)

Southern Gauteng

49

2

Phumi Mbande (Vice-captain) (GK)

Northern Blues

43

3

Quanita Bobbs

Western Province

122

4

Kara Botes

Southern Gauteng

49

5

Dirkie Chamberlain

North West

233

6

Lisa Deetlefs

Southern Gauteng

258

7

Lilian du Plessis

Southern Gauteng

126

8

Celia Evans

Northern Blues

153

9

Tegan Fourie

KZN Raiders

1

10

Tarryn Glasby

Western Province

38

11

Robyn Johnson

Southern Gauteng

8

12

Marizen Marais

Northern Blues

22

13

Mmathshepo Modipane (GK)

Southern Gauteng

9

14

Kristen Paton

Southern Gauteng

23

15

Hannah Pearce

SA U21

8

16

Sylvia van Jaarsveldt

Southern Gauteng

5

17

Izelle Verster

Northern Blues

7

18

Nomnikelo Veto

SA U21

8

19

Bianca Wood

SA U21

8

20

Onthatile Zulu

Northern Blues

0

*Caps are per the FIH TMS system, correct as at 26 July 2019, Province is most recent province represented

Fixtures – African Hockey Road to Tokyo Event

12 August – SuperGroup SA vs. Nigeria
13 August – SuperGroup SA vs. Kenya
17 August – Semi-Finals
18 August - Finals

 

Undoubtedly the worst game in sports tournaments is the third-place playoff. Less than 24 hours after tasting defeat in the semi-finals, Italy and Supergroup South Africa had to take to the field to decide the destination of the bronze medal at the FIH Hockey Series Final in Valencia. With the South Africans having played the later and more mentally exhausting semi-final there was always going to be a tough encounter.

With vengeance in their mind having lost the group stage meeting Italy emerged from the anthems with the greater fire in their bellies but the South Africans were resolute and impenetrable at the back. The South Africans then had most of the possession and created the most dangerous opportunities in the second quarter but were unable to breach the Italian defence.

Throughout the tournament the Supergroup South Africans consistently played their best hockey in the third quarter, but the exertion of physical and mental energy less than 24 hours ago started taking its toll. A series of misplaced passes were capitalized on the by the Italians and after winning a penalty corner, Italian striker Guiliana Ruggieri saw her slap deflected off Erin Hunter and through Phumi Mbande.

For the South Africans it was the kind of gut punch that leaves you winded and needing a good couple of minutes to get out the other side. While busy grappling with the metaphorically breath shortage the Italians landed two more punches through Lara Oviedo and Eugenia Bianchi.

Having received fantastic support from home, including from South Africa’s minister of sport Nathi Mthethwa, the team were determined to give their fans, something to celebrate and that moment came when Tarryn Glasby scrambled the ball home to earn a consolation for the reigning African Champions.

While there may be disappointment in the ultimate fourth place finish, the South Africans will be proud of the progress they have made and the positive signs for the future. Next on the agenda is the African Cup in Stellenbosch.

South Africa 1 (Glasby 52’)
Italy 3 (Ruggieri 34’, Oviedo 38’ & Bianchi 38’)

Pictures - FHCV

Little under a year ago the South African women’s hockey side took on Spain at the FIH Hockey World Cup and tasted a very one-sided defeat. Spain went on to finish third at the World Cup. Throw in the fact that the Spanish side were the hosts of the FIH Hockey Series Final, as well as the program the national team are involved in, and the challenge that awaited the South Africans was nothing short of massive.

But Supergroup South Africa have shown some remarkable character and resilience under the tutelage of Robin van Ginkel. Having earned their spot in the final four through finishing top of pool B South Africa were eager to take the game to the hosts. The hosts, the Red Sticks, however were in fantastic form and raised the tempo of the game from the start.  

Although Spain had the better opening quarter, the South Africans will be pleased with how they limited the amount of danger, consistently stopping the Red Sticks from getting a shot on target despite some heavy territorial advantage. Erin Hunter was playing in a very captain’s role by leading from the front.

Supergroup South Africa started to really challenge the Spaniards and competed gainfully for the ball, showing the kind of heart that has historically been associated with South Africans. They fashioned a few half chances that were always difficult to convert but this game was a far cry from the previous meeting between the two.

As the clock ticked down towards the end of the game it was the home fans that would get to celebrate as a shot from Julia Pons saved by Phumi Mbande, but on the rebound Begona Garcia fired home. There was little Mbande could have done having also made two other great saves in the quarter already.

The South Africans refused to give up and surged up the field, but the Spanish defence was too well organized and resolute and ultimately enough to take Spain through to the final and a place in the Olympic Qualifying Matches in October / November.

For South Africa the immediate focus is the third-place playoff, and the ranking points that come with that, tomorrow against Italy at 16:45. The eyes will then shift towards the African Cup in Stellenbosch in August and possibly earning a place in the Olympic Qualifying matches on world rankings.

Although they ultimately tasted defeat today, there was only moments to be proud of. The team gave a superb effort and there are clear signs that this team is developing under the new set up. The hearts will be sore tonight, but at a time when the heart of South African sports stars has been questioned, the SA Women’s Hockey team have at least answered that question emphatically.

South Africa 0
Spain 1 (
Garcia 53’)

Photos - FHCV