RANDBURG, SOUTH AFRICA - JANUARY 28, Pietie Coetzee of South Africa attacks during the Investec Series Womens International Hockey match between South Africa and Ireland from Randburg Hockey Stadium on January 28, 2012 in Randburg, South Africa Photo by Duif Du Toit / Gallo Images

Johannesburg – Southern Gauteng hockey captain Pietie Coetzee was pleased with the way the SA women's interprovincial hockey tournament (IPT) played out following her side's 3-0 victory over Western Province to claim top honours on Saturday.

Southerns suffered a loss to provincial neighbours Northern Gauteng (Northerns) ahead of the final playoffs and Coetzee believed the loss was a blessing for the team as they were forced to refocus and regain their concentration before the crucial final.

“I actually think the Northerns loss was a very good thing for us because obviously we were not really tested up until that point in the tournament,” Coetzee said.

“It was nice to see what we did under pressure and then we had the opportunity to correct it, so we are lucky that it happened in a pool game and then we could fix it for the semi-finals.

“It was quite obvious that we had to keep the ball out of the middle going forward and not make any mistakes at the back because then we seem to be very vulnerable and get punished.”

Coetzee finished the tournament as top goal scorer, netting 13 times in seven matches, including once in the final.

“I'm very happy. I really had no expectations before this tournament,” the veteran striker said.

“I came here to have fun and obviously lead Southerns to the final, and hopefully a win, which was really good, so I'm very happy.”

Her Southerns teammate, Tsoanelo Pholo, was named as best striker of the tournament and Coetzee believed Pholo deserved the award.

“I think Pholo was consistent throughout the tournament,” she said.

“She scored very important goals for us at important points so she did extremely well.”

Coetzee admitted wearing the captain's armband was new to her and that the responsibility took some getting used to.

“I don't mind it. I don't have fun doing it but I'm comfortable doing it,” she said.

“Hopefully I'll be back next year. We'll see how it goes.” – Sapa