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SA rampant in Russia
- Updated: June 30, 2009
South African men’s hockey team return from Russia with a smile as wide as the Steppes after finishing the Four Nations tournament unbeaten and thrashing Canada 8-1 in the final.
Seven goals in the first half saw the match sewn up at half-time and the young Canadian team were down and out as the South Africans celebrated their first tournament victory since 2007.
Earlier in the tournament, the South Africans had beaten Canada 2-0 and beaten the competition’s other two teams, hosts Russia, and Bangladesh 5-2 and 8-0 respectively.
The South Africans conceded only three goals during the tournament while scoring 21 of their own.
Short-corner specialist Justin Reid-Ross’s two goals led the way for the South Africans in the final and he was supported by Ian Haley with a hat-trick, Lloyd Norris-Jones, captain Austin Smith and Tommy Hammond on the goalscorer’s list.
The win against Canada was ever so encouraging for coach Gregg Clark’s men as Canada are four spots higher on the world rankings.
All of which will be a huge boost for South Africa as they┬á bid to remain champions of Africa at the World Cup qualifier in Ghana next month.
Last year the South African side finished last at the Beijing Olympics