Las Leonas Await Investec SA in 5-Test Thriller

by | Feb 21, 2014

Giles Bonnet’s Investec South Africa women’s hockey team take on world number 2 Argentina in a five-Test series in Mar del Plata, 400km from Buenos Aires, offering the world no. 11 team another stage in their build-up to a much-coveted medal placing at the Commonwealth Games, which takes place in Glasgow from 24 July to 3 August.

In their recent home series against the world number 16 European team, where Scotland had five of their Great Britain players missing in the recent 5-0 series blank at the hands of the SA women in Pretoria, SA were also without several big names, a total of eight players who would have challenged strongly for inclusion.

The players missing effectively cancelled each other out and much of the interest in that series was in seeing how those selected would step up to the plate – and in this South Africa were markedly better.

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Livewire SA defender/midfielder Nicolene Terblanche of Northern Blues will be looking to maintain the form she showed in the 5-0 whitewash of Scotland. Photo: Reg Caldecott

Livewire SA defender/midfielder Nicolene Terblanche of Northern Blues will be looking to maintain the form she showed in the 5-0 whitewash of Scotland. Photo: Reg Caldecott

The Scots’ coach Gordon Shepherd was impressed with what he saw. “It’s the best South African team I have seen. Some tremendous players, a very fast team,” he said of a side he had last encountered in a series in Edinburgh some time ago.

“South Africa’s number seven has been absolutely outstanding in midfield,” Shepherd said of Western Province’s Illse Davids.

Among a host of other SA players who distinguished themselves against Scotland, young striker Lilian du Plessis and high-energy attacking defender/midfielder Nicolene Terblanche caught the eye.

Superstar SA leader and midfield general Marsha Cox is back for the Mar del Plata series, but other big names are sitting out, including triple Olympian and world record Test match goalscorer, Pietie Coetzee.

Argentina’s Las Leonas (Lionesses) are studded with world-class players in multiple World Player of the Year Luciana Aymar; as well as pacy, exciting young striker Agustina Albertario; experienced penalty corner drag-flicker Noel Barrionuevo and the likes of Silvina D’elia; Carla Rebecchi and Daniela Sruoga.

 

Fixtures of the Argentina vs South Africa 5-Test Match series (SA times):
23 Feb 01:40am: Argentina vs Investec South Africa
24 Feb 01:40am: Argentina vs Investec South Africa
25 Feb: Rest Day
26 Feb 01:40am: Argentina vs Investec South Africa
27 Feb: Rest Day
28 Feb 01:40am: Argentina vs Investec South Africa
29 Feb 01:40am: Argentina vs Investec South Africa
 
Las Leonas Squad:
Luciana Aymar
Laura Aladro
Agustina Albertario
Noel Barrionuevo
Martina Cavallero
Silvina D’elia
Julia Gomes Fantasia
Agustina Habif
Florencia Habif
Giselle Juarez
Rosario Luchetti
Delfina Merino
Florencia Mutio
Carla Rebecchi
Macarena Rodriguez
Pilar Romang
Mariana Rossi
Rocio Sanchez
Mariela Scarone
Daniela Sruoga
Josefina Sruoga
Belen Succi
Investec South Africa:
Phumelela Mbande
Anelle van Deventer
Lisa Deetlefs
Marcelle Manson
Quanita Bobbs
Nicolene Terblanche
Marsha Cox
Shelley Russell
Tarryn Bright
Bernie Coston
Kathleen Taylor
Illse Davids
Jade Mayne
Dirkie Chamberlain
Lilian du Plessis
Celia Evans
Tanya Britz
Sulette Damons
Candice Manuel
Kelly Madsen
 

Main photo caption: The Investec SA women’s hockey team have arrived in Mar del Plata, Argentina, for their 5-Test series against world no.2 Las Leonas, ahead of the Glasgow Commonwealth Games in July. In this file photo, Illse Davids drew high praise from Scotland head coach Gordon Shepherd, during South Africa’s five-Test series whitewash of the Scots in Pretoria. Photo: Lucas Jansen van Vuuren

 

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