SA hockey men need to find form

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iol spt aug2 SA hockey men duel

AP

Coach Gregg Clark says that the South African men's hockey team are still in search of their best form at the London Olympic Games.

London – The South African men's hockey team are still in search of their best form at the London Olympic Games, after their 2-2 draw with Great Britain on Wednesday, according to coach Gregg Clark.

“I think we are far off our best, and you need to be at a tournament like this,” Clark said.

“You have to be at your best to go far in the tournament.

“That's almost encouraging because I know we've still got quite a way to go from a performance point of view.”

The South Africans came back strongly after they had trailed by one goal for almost 60 minutes.

They took the lead in the 64th minute and then saw it slip away when the British scored a controversial goal to level the scores once again.

Clark said he had mixed feelings after his side earned their first point of the Games.

“It is obviously nice to get our first point in the tournament but we didn't really get out of the block very well,” he said.

“We didn't play with a lot of fluency today. Part of that was because GB were very well organised defensively and we haven't played our best hockey in this tournament.

“So I guess I'm both happy with the point but also sad that we let it slip in the end.”

The draw was a marked improvement for the side after their 6-0 defeat to Australia in their opening match on Monday.

“I think there were patches in the Australia game that we played same decent hockey,” Clark said.

“I think we chased a bit too much in that game which you tend to do against Australia.”

Great Britain was awarded a penalty corner at the death.

South African goalkeeper Rassie Pieterse made an excellent save after the hooter to keep the scores level.

“We were pumped out there and we really wanted to fight for that point,” Pieterse said.

“We are the lowest ranked team here and if we can take points off teams that are ranked fourth in the world we will take it any day.

“Of course we would have liked the win today.”

The SA men face Spain in their next match on Friday. – Sapa


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