By Mark Etheridge┬áin London
Gregg Clark was disappointed but happy in the same breath as our men’s hockey side secured their first points of the Olympic Games on Wednesday.
Captain Austin Smith’s men drew 2-2 with host nation Great Britain to pick up a valuable point in their Group A clash at the Riverbank Arena.
That after SA had trailed 1-0 at halftime, fought back with a strike by Smith and then gone ahead through Jonty Robinson.
But Great Britain scored a controversial equaliser with just minutes to go to share the spoils.
Said coach Clark: “It’s strange. We’re a little way off our best game so that’s good to know that we can get better but it’s dissapointing that wer’e not producing it right here at the Olympics.
“I would have liked a bit more go-forward but coming off that 6-0 loss to Australia a few days back we had to get ourselves into the tournament.”
Asked about the controversial goal that came from a shot outside the D and went to the third umpire as a video referral Clark was cautions.
“It’s tough to see from the big video screens on the game as its quite fuzzy on the video screen. It’s an inconclusive goal but disappointing. We couldn’t actually refer it as we had used our appeal it was the umpire that referred it.”
Said captain Smith: “You just have top hope the third umpire gets it right with all his different video screens.”
“It was nice to get our first point today but we were very slow out of the blocks and lacked fluency. Having said that Great Britain were also very well organised defensively.”
South Africa’s hero of the day was Rassie Pieterse, the keep saving a last-second shot that seemed destined to deny SA a point.
“I just saw the shot coming to my left and managed to get the tip of a glove to it and make the save.
“We were definitely pumped up out there today and it’s great to get a point off the fourth-ranked side.”