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High fives for Proteas
- Updated: February 10, 2012
The South African men’s hockey team beat top Dutch club Pinoke 5-1 at Western Province Cricket Club in Cape Town on Thursday night after leading 4-0 at half-time.
SA’s goals came from Western Province strikers Lloyd Norris-Jones (2) and Ian Haley, as well as Wade Paton of KZN Coastal Raiders and Northern Blues’ Nic Gonsalves. Ward Grasveld got Pinoke’s lone goal.
SA captain Austin Smith was reasonably satisfied with the team’s performance.
“We moved the ball well in the first half, while in the second Pinoke came back strongly, although we had a few opportunities that brought good saves from their goalkeeper,” said the SA captain.
“Out forwards are connecting well and playing far better than at Champions Challenge or during the India series.”
SA won the bronze medal at the Champions Challenge tournament in Randburg two months ago, while they went down 3-1 in a tight Test series against India in Delhi last month. In both events SA left a lot of goals on the table.
Smith anticipates a tougher ride come the second and final match against Pinoke that is scheduled for midday on Sunday, but first there is the Test series decider against world number four Great Britain that is scheduled for 6pm on Saturday.
SA won the first Test 5-3 while Great Britain came back to win the second encounter 3-1.
SA team manager, Martin van Staden, said a decision on the venue for the final matches against Great Britain and Pinoke would be made Friday.