In the first few matches in the Cape Town Summer Series the South African hockey teams have shown some good intent and promise.
All the matches in the series are played at Hartleyvale.
The series started last Friday when the South African women played against Chile and got a 3-0 victory, they followed that up with a good showing against China despite losing 2-3. It could have easy been an even closer game with the home team having chances to close the gap.
Various players – Jessica O’Connor, Stephanie Baxter and Kate Koenig - made their international debut for South Africa.
On Sunday the China won a scrappy match against Chile with 2-1.
The score-line of the South African men against the Netherlands is not a fair reflection on the game itself. According to the men’s captain Tim Drummond his team played a competitive match against the third best team in the world. South Africa is currently in 15th place on the world rankings. At one stage the gap was only one goal.
Dayaan Cassiem made his international debut for the men’s team against the Dutch. He is only 18 years old.
Both Belgium’s men and women teams will join the action in the upcoming matches.
For the South African teams this series is a vital part of their build-up to the World League-tournament later in the year. The World League will be a qualifying tournament for next year’s Hockey World Cup.
Results thus far: WOMEN - South Africa 3, Chile 0; China 3, South Africa 2; China 2, Chile 1. MEN – Holland 6, South Africa 2.
Upcoming fixtures: 25 JANUARY – China v SA (w); SA v Holland; 26 JANUARY – SA v Chile (w), Holland v Belgium; 28 JANUARY – China v Chile (w); 29 JANUARY – Belgium v Chile (w), SA v China (w), SA v Holland; 30 JANUARY – SA v Belgium (w); SA v Belgium (m); 1 FEBRUARY – China v Belgium (w), SA v Belgium (m); 2 FEBRUARY – SA v Belgium (m), Belgium v China; 3 FEBRUARY – SA v Belgium (w).