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Bonnet expects big improvement from SA team

Head coach Giles Bonnet was frank in his assessment of the Investec South Africa women’s hockey team’s quality of play in their 2-1 defeat at the hands of Belgium in the first Test at Central Hockey Club in Cape Town on Monday, but has promised a better showing in Wednesday’s second international.

ÔÇ£We made too many ball-handling errors and as a result performed extremely poorly,ÔÇØ said the Amsterdam-based Bonnet, a former SA men’s captain and coach. ÔÇ£As a result we could only make one third of the normal actions that should be made in an International match.

ÔÇ£The team will make a marked improvement in this area in the second Test, which will allow the players to begin to measure their play in other areas on the field.ÔÇØ

There were certainly positives in 20-year-old Tuks student Lilian du Plessis’ debut Test match goal, the impressive performances by young Maties student Quanita Bobbs, and debutant Christine Roos.

Wednesday’s match will be played at the same venue and starts at 5.30pm.

Bonnet said SA are preparing for the World League round two event that takes place at Hartleyvale in Cape Town and have another seven days to reach the levels required for that competition, while the Investec Challenge that starts on 4 February and includes hockey heavyweights in London 2012 Olympic gold medallists and world number one Holland,  is also a big tournament on the horizon.

Apart from superstars in captain Marsha Marescia and world record goalscorer Pietie Coetzee, as well as former SA Player of the Year Tarryn Bright, SA are also missing two other London 2012 Olympians in Kathleen Taylor and the three-time Olympian Jen Wilson.

Marescia, Coetzee and Bright will return for the World league and Investec Challenge events, but Wilson and Taylor are sitting them out.

ÔÇ£The squad for this period will be selected from the players attending this period. After each quarter a new squad is selected,ÔÇØ said Bonnet. ÔÇ£Therefore neither Jen nor Kath are being considered for these matches as they are not in this squad.ÔÇØ

Head coach Pascal Kina’s Belgium side, who were more fluid than SA on Monday, will be looking to keep their winning momentum and establish an unbeatable 2-0 series lead on Wednesday.

Investec SA team for Belgium series: Sanani Mangisa, Lisa Deetlefs, Lilian du Plessis, Bernie Coston, Christine Roos (all Southern Gauteng); Tanya Britz (Free State); Hanli Hattingh, Shelley Russell, Lauren Penny, Jade Mayne, Quanita Bobbs (all Western Province); Marcelle Keet (Amathole/Border); Dirkie Chamberlain, Nicolene Terblanche (both Northern Blues); Lenise Marais (captain), Kelly Madsen (both KZN Coastal Raiders); Sulette Damons, Celia Evans (both North West).

Remaining Belgium series fixturesÔÇ¿2nd Test: Wed, Jan 16 (5.30pm Central Hockey Club, Vygieskraal).ÔÇ¿3rd Test: Fri, Jan 18 (6pm Hartleyvale, Observatory)ÔÇ¿4th Test: Sat, Jan 19 (3pm Hartleyvale).


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