Pietie makes it 1-0 | SASCOC - SASCOC

Pietie makes it 1-0

World record goalscorer Pietie Coetzee nailed a penalty corner drag-flick in the seventh minute as the Investec South African women’s hockey team to clinch the opening Investec Tri-Nations Series match 1-0 at Randburg Astro on Saturday.

With both sides making too many unforced errors, it was not a good Test match. And while South Africa made life very hard for themselves, their eight penalty corners to two against  is indicative of who was on top for most of the match.

On another day Coetzee, who took her world record tally of goals to 231 in 234 Test matches, would have netted a hat-trick.ÔÇ¿ÔÇ¿The superstar striker hit the post with her first PC drag-flick while the eighth corner saw outstanding Ireland goalkeeper Emma Gray make a magnificent stick save low to her right.

The half-time watering of the pitch did make life difficult for the players as areas of the surface didn’t drain efficiently, while SA also used a number of corner variations to counteract the sluggish pace of the ball.

It must be said, though, that the loss of 2011 SA Player of the Year Tarryn Bright in the sixth minute after Coetzee’s PC drag-flick deflected off the post into the centre midfielder’s face, was a big blow to the team’s fluidity.

Nicole Terblanche at right half was a constant headache for Ireland’s left-side defence and she was one of the few who can look back on this match with satisfaction. Jade Mayne and a number of others did have their moments but overall the performance was inconsistent.

SA defended well at times as Lisa Jacob and Shirley McCay and company made dangerous counter-attacks but the Irish will not look back on this match with much fondness either.

Head coach Giles Bonnet’s team meet Belgium on Sunday and will be looking for a much slicker performance in every department.