13 April 2018

South Africa: Horror Commonwealth Games for SA Hockey

Team South Africa had a Gold Coast Commonwealth Games to forget on the hockey field, with the men's and women's side managing a solitary victory each.

The men's side finished bottom of Pool A with a single win over Canada (2-0) in their final match. They wrapped up their campaign with a 3-2 defeat to Wales to finish 10th - and last - overall.

It represented a significant step backwards for the side which had finished fifth in the two previous Commonwealth Games.

While coach Mark Hopkins may point to a "super-exciting young side with unlimited talent", the real trick will be convincing SASCOC to permit them to travel to the next big international competition - the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo.

The SA women's side fared marginally better as a single win (2-0 over Wales) and a draw (1-1 v Malaysia) saw them finish third in Pool A and progress to the playoff for 5th and 6th - where they went down 3-1 to Canada.

Adding insult to injury, the Canadians are coached by former SA men's player and women's team coach, Giles Bonnet.

Again, the sixth-place finish represents a poorer return for a side that finished fourth at the two previous Games.

The SA men's and women's sides are currently ranked 15th and 14th in the world rankings, respectively.

Team SA flew 36 players in total (plus eight officials) to Australia for hockey alone.

Source: Sport24

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