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SA’s 6-3 win sets up clash with big guns Netherlands
- Updated: July 31, 2013
Captain Izelle Lategan’s South Africa Under-21 women’s hockey team’s exciting 6-3 win over Canada on day three of the Women’s Junior World Cup in M├Ânchengladbach, Germany on Tuesday has set the world’s 11th-ranked women’s hockey nation up against world No1 and defending champions The Netherlands on Thursday.
While there are no official Under-21 world rankings, the rankings at senior level are a reasonable guide to where the countries should be rated at world junior level.
The countries that outperformed expectations by reaching the top eight at the 2013 edition of the JWC are world No10 the USA, world No 11 South Africa, 12th-randed India and No14’s Spain.
Highly regarded world top 10-rated countries who didn’t make the JWC top eight are world No3 New Zealand, number fives Germany, seventh rated China and No8 and twice JWC champions South Korea, who will now all be playing for positions nine-16 along with Belgium, Canada, Ghana and Russia. World number nine Japan did not qualify at regional level for the JWC and are consequently not in Germany.
Thursday’s quarter-finals (all SA time) on the M├Ânchengladbach Hockey Park’s stadium pitch will see Spain versus India, world number two and 2009 silver medallists Argentina up against the USA at noon and Australia clashing sticks with England before the South Africa/Netherlands match-up at 5 pm.
South Africa’s Nicole Walraven and Sul├®ke Brand are tied fourth in the tournament goalscoring stakes with three strikes apiece, while an indication of the attacking hockey SA that are playing is that at 12 goals in the three matches so far they are fifth out of the 16 nations in terms of total number of goals scored.
A concern is that with nine goals against they have conceded the fifth-most number of goals in the competition.
SA U21 team: Bronwyn Kretzmann, Erin Hunter, Nicole la Fleur, Quanita Bobbs, Sherry King, Sul├®ke Brand, Taryn Mallett (vice-capt), Tarryn Glasby (all Western Province); Izelle Lategan (capt), Lin├® Malan, Tanya Britz, Nicole Walraven (all Free State); Jacinta Jubb, Lilian du Plessis, Phume Mbande (all Northern Blues); Tiffany Jones (North West); Toni Marks (Eastern Province); Nika Nel (Southern Gauteng).