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Ken Borland



SA hockey once again come undone 0

Posted on March 09, 2022 by Ken

South Africa’s second game in the FIH Hockey Pro League in Potchefstroom saw them once again come undone as they were hammered 10-2 by a fast and skilful India side who were relentless in the first half.

India powered into an 8-0 lead at halftime with four goals in each quarter, their short-corner work being particularly clinical, Jugraj Singh scoring a hat-trick from the set-piece.

The pace at which they played clearly rattled the South Africans, who struggled to match the ball-speed and inevitably made basic mistakes or gave the possession away through poor passes. They also lacked composure in defence, with India earning a short corner with just about every circle-entry in the early stages of the match.

South Africa began the second half in much better fashion, keeping India in their own territory with much better ball-retention and earning a couple of short-corners which were well-saved by goalkeeper PR Sreejesh. India’s brilliant counter-attacking skills then came to the fore as they broke out of their cell and swiftly stormed downfield, Gursahibjit Singh scoring with an excellent angled finish.

South Africa were 9-0 down but they provided some hope with a strong performance in the second half, producing patches of attractive hockey.

Daniel Bell found the box with a low short-corner flick in the 44th minute and Richard Pautz punched home early in the final quarter, after good build-up by Tyson Dlungwana down the left flank and neat touches by Dayaan Cassiem and Bili Ntuli.

India had the final say though, two minutes before the end as Dilpreet Singh broke free and fired a superb shot into goal from the top of the circle.

“We did not start the way we wanted,” Bell admitted, “we struggled to get into our rhythm in the first half. We wanted a more competitive game and we need to keep them out better.

“In the second half there was a big change, we started to play some hockey and show our flair.”

“The first half was not a true reflection of our ability,” Pautz said. “We had a very slow start and our mindset was off. But a 2-2 draw in the second half shows our capability.

“That’s what we should be doing consistently and we need to be more clinical in the circle.”

Bulls pack have to produce another mighty display – Strauss 0

Posted on May 05, 2016 by Ken

 

Bulls captain Adriaan Strauss says his pack are going to have to produce another mighty display if they are to beat the Brumbies in Canberra on Friday in the second game of their SuperRugby tour.

The Brumbies will have their all-Wallaby front row of Stephen Moore, Ben Alexander and Scott Sio back, while they possess two tremendous loose forwards in David Pocock and Scott Fardy.

“Their pack is definitely one of their strengths so it’s going to be a massive challenge for us,” Strauss agreed. “The Brumbies have got an excellent lineout and scrum, they have a very strong maul and their first-phase play is exceptional.

“It will be tough for us, but I’m very proud of our pack, they’ve really put up their hands and we have to do it again against the Brumbies.”

Strauss, as captain, can’t just focus on the forward battle though and, in terms of tactics, he hopes the Bulls can get the balance right between attack and defence, territory and possession, as they did last weekend against the Force.

“At stages we’ve played some great rugby and we want to play an all-round game and do it for 80 minutes. We want more artillery than just being a one-dimensional team, we want to be great at counter-attack and in the set-pieces, it’s all about playing decision-making rugby,” Strauss said.

The Brumbies will be desperate to get back on the winning trail after losing four of their last six games, including two in a row against the Crusaders and Highlanders. They are currently sixth in the Australasian Conference, two points behind the Rebels.

The Waratahs are level with the Brumbies on 21 points, but have a game in hand and are getting some good momentum after two successive wins.

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