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- Olympic champion’s Epic win, big-hearted women’s triumph
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- Davids does the job on day one of Summer Series
- SA’s Strauss and Knox nail down Epic podium places
- Freiburghaus doubles up at Randpark
- Olympic champ Schurter moves into Cape Epic lead
Pietie scores again but Black Sticks put four past SA
- Updated: July 31, 2012
By Mark Etheridge┬áin London
Yet another goal from prolific Pietie Coetzee in her 250th Test was still not enough to prevent South Africa suffering their second women’s hockey defeat at the Olympic Games in London on Tuesday.
Giles Bonnet’s girls went down 4-1 to New Zealand in┬á their Group B fixture at the Riverbank Arena.
The South Africans trailed 3-0 at the break after the Black Sticks struck as early as the second minute from a Samantha Harrison penalty stroke.
Two more goals followed from Clarissa Eshuis and Kayla Sharland before the interval.
Coetzee netted from the seven-metre spot in the 52nd minute but Kiwi captain Sharland dashed any South African hopes with New Zealand’s fourth goal in the 61st minute.
South Africa lost their opening fixture 7-1 to Argentina at the weekend and Bonnet put on a brave face after Tuesday’s loss.
“In the second half we played like I expect them to play but we didn’t start well and it didn’t help that we went a goal down so early. We had expected them to come up with that play but it was unlucky for us to concede.
“As I said we played well in the second half but we just couldn’t get that goal. Even at 3-1 down I thought we were still in it and could get back to 3-3 but it didn’t happen that way. We need to play for the entire 70 minutes.”
And Bonnet, while refusing to make excuses said there had to be understanding for this team.
“We are the 12th ranked team at this tournament and have to be realistic. Ideally I would have liked to be in the other group because we have beaten three of the teams there but there’s nothing we can do about that.. it really is the luck of the draw!
“New Zealand defended really well today and we must realise that they’ve been at the top end of women’s hockey since 2009, They’re an enormously experienced team.
“I think that this team will continue to grow and probably reach their peak at the World Cup in the Netherlands in 2014.”
Next up for captain Marsha Marescia and her weary warriors are Germany on Thursday followed by games against Australia and United States.
Marescia was sporting some battle scars after the match and said Bonnet: “She’s exhausted .. she must have run about 14 kilometres out there today.
The one run they’ll be looking at putting an end to is the losing run but in Germany they are going to find it even tougher going.