Both the South African Underwater Hockey Ladies’ Teams have booked themselves favourable games in the playoff stages of the World Championships in Hobart Australia. The round robin stages concluded today and both the U/19 and U/23 Ladies just lost against New Zealand an lie 2nd in their divisions.
Online article at https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/sa-ladies-course-finals-zandre-coetzee
The U/18 and U23 Men are still with a chance, both lying 5th, They face tough playoffs against the teams above them, but with some luck and a lot of guts they can still make it to the podium.
For the U/19 Ladies this means an automatic semi final with a rest day tomorrow as teams 3 to 7 battle it out for places in the semi finals. The U/23 Ladies play 7th placed Argentina in the playoffs.
They have beat Argentina comfortably and should be able to do so again to proceed to the semis against either Australia (whom they beat 3-0 today) and Columbia. Columbia’s U/23 Ladies are the current World Champions from Spain in 2015. Either team will make for a tough semi final for the SA Ladies.
Both these teams are likely to face New Zealand in their respective finals. New Zealand has a very strong schools / junior underwater league and they have been consistently strong since the inception of the junior categories at the world championships. The numbers of players involved and resources and time allocated to underwater hockey make them a powerhouse in junior underwater hockey.
The SA U/19 Ladies are the current World Champions after beating the New Zealand ladies in Spain in 2015. This was the first time the New Zealand U/19 ladies lost any game (SA beat them in the round robin and the finals). The current SA team contain 7 members of this gold medal team including Captain Calista Pake and Helen Van Rhyn both who are both at their 3rd World Championships.
The U/23 Ladies’ team contain the remaining 5 members from the 2015 U/19 Gold Medal Team. This includes the captain Eleanor De Kock and Moya Moorcroft, both playing in their 4th junior world championship. Eleanor and Zandrѐ Coetzee where also members of the SA Elite Ladies Team that won the senior World Championships in Stellenbosch in 2016. They have worked very hard to make it a unique triple with gold in 3 divisions.
Zandrѐ was the top goal scorer in the U/23 ladies division in all the round robin games (9 goals), but unfortunately she was passed by an New Zealand lady when New Zealand put up a 10 – 0 score against Argentina in the final round robin game, She now lies second. Her team mates Eleanor and Jordynne follow closely in 3rd and 4th with 7 goals each.
The SA U/23 Ladies came 5th in 2011, last in 2013 (with only 6 players) and did not have a team in 2015, so the U/23 ladies have worked hard for at least a fist podium position for them in 2017 in Hobart.
As mentioned, the men have had a tougher competition, but they are still in high spirits and are going to give it their all to upset the very strong teams above them in the log so that they can proceed to the semi finals and even finals.
The playoffs start tomorrow (Thursday) with the semi finals on Friday and Finals on Saturday. We wish ALL our teams all the best – may your hard work pay off!
The games are live streamed at http://tinyurl.com/hobartlive (as well as available afterwards)
Full updated results are at https://sportsdesq.sportstg.com/portal/index.cfm?fuseaction=main&OrgID=10080
De Wet Coetzee (Parent)
Cell 072 024 9801