Johannesburg – Olympic champions The Netherlands beat the South African women’s hockey team 5-0 on Saturday after leading 4-0 at half-time.
The two teams met in the first match of a two-Test series which forms part of the 11-match Hartleyvale Summer Series.
The series also includes Australia and Belgium and all matches will be played at Hartleyvale Stadium in Cape Town.
A pair of goals apiece in the first half by Dutch captain Maartje Paumen and Kim Lammers and Paumen's hat-trick goal in the 63rd minute outstripped the lost opportunities created by the hosts.
The Dutch scored as early as the second minute when Ellen Hoog stole around the right-hand baseline before feeding Lammers, who slipped the ball past goalkeeper Hanli Hattingh at the near post.
Both sides had chances at either end before Marcelle Manson did well to clear a dangerous ball away from the South African goalmouth.
In the 12th minute, Hattingh saved well from Dutch skipper and drag-flick ace Paumen’s first penalty corner. Soon after, SA captain Marsha Cox speared an accurate pass to striker Sulette Damons, whose shot was blocked.
Shelly Russell set the crowd alight midway through the first half when her elusive running set up her team's first penalty corner.
World record Test match goalscorer Pietie Coetzee, Tarryn Bright and Kathleen Taylor got in a succession of shots which the Dutch defence kept out.
Quanita Bobbs, Erin Hunter and Russell kept their composure to get South Africa out of trouble during a period of sustained Dutch pressure before Paumen popped the ball home from close-range in the 28th minute.
Bernie Coston immediately came close at the other end but the Dutch broke out in classic fashion in the 30th minute for Roos Drost to race down the left before Lammers finished off.
In the 34th minute Paumen sent a trademark penalty corner drag-flick soaring into the net for 4-0 at half-time.
Six minutes after the changeover Cox fashioned a fine deflection pass to Coetzee from an initial play by Lisa Deetlefs but the sharpshooter’s reverse-stick strike under heavy pressure floated over the crossbar.
Replacement keeper Phume Mbande then palmed away a Paumen penalty corner but the tempo slowed considerably and the action produced little reward until Paumen made it 5-0. – Sapa