On Tuesday, the South African Investec Hockey Women took no prisoners at the Tshwane University of Technology (TUT) in Pretoria when they crushed the Scottish Women in an impressive 5-0 victory in the fourth Test Match. A brace apiece from Lilian du Plessis and Kathleen Taylor, and a goal contribution from Jade Mayne put the final nail in the coffin after the women in green and gold had led 2-0 at half-time.
The first of the five test matches took place on Valentine’s Day, and although there were goals galore, there was everything but love in the air as South Africa smashed the Scots 5-3. South Africa had been leading 3-1 at half time when it looked like a walloping for the visitors would end in a similar manner to the previous warm-up match which resulted in a 4-1 win for the home team.
Scotland are currently ranked 16th in the FIH World Rankings and recently participated in the inaugural season of the FIH Hockey World League, but were knocked out in the second round, failing to qualify for the 2014 Hockey World Cup at The Hague, Netherlands. Scotland will be hosting the 2014 Commonwealth Games and the hockey women will face a very similar South African side at home during the Games, where they will be hoping to elevate their performance in front of a home crowd. For now though, they are 4-0 down in this current Test Series in Pretoria and will have to survive the last match on Wednesday, 19 February 2014 at TUT.
The 11th-ranked South African women will have a tough task ahead of them at the Commonwealths as they will face 3rd-ranked England, 4th-ranked Australia as well as 5th-ranked New Zealand. They are a gutsy team though, full of experienced players and young up-and-comers ready to prove themselves. So we will look on with great interest to see what the women in green and gold can accomplish.
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