Bonnet happy at hockey girls' improvement | SASCOC - SASCOC

Bonnet happy at hockey girls’ improvement

South African coach Giles Bonnet praised his charges after the women’s hockey side managed to restrict Germany to a 2-0 win in their Group B match at the Riverbank Arena on Thursday, writes Mark Etheridge.

A goal in each half saw the girls suffer their third defeat on the trot.

But they were the lowest ranked side (12th) to make the Olympics after a long and gruelling campaign trail and their results have got better as the tournament goes on.

They lost 7-1 to Argentina and then 4-1 to New Zealand before Thursday’s 2-0 defeat.

And they can hold their heads high after an extremely plucky performance.

“They played a lot better today,” said coach Bonnet. “The one goal was a bit unlucky but I’m really happy with the improvement.

“We had a good few shots at goal and although the finishing could have been better it was about the team effort today.”

“This group just doesn’t get easier. As I said earlier this week it would have been great to be in the other group but that’s life.

“The thing is although we got better the quality of the teams in this group is that they are able to get more innovative under pressure etc.

“But this will all help us get better, playing teams this quality. I think our result against New Zealand was disappointing but we just need to concentrate on the next game.’

Goalkeeper Mariette Rix explained the change in Team SA’s mindset.

“Today was kind of different. There was no fear.. we had plenty of power/energy and pressure and it showed.

“I think our second half was really good. We stopped focusing on the result and decided to rather enjoy ourselves and just play to our best ability.”