By Mark Etheridge
Our men’s hockey players got in more much-needed game time with a 1-1 drawn match against Canada in their Commonwealth Games warm-up match.
The match was played over three chukkers of 15min each with five minutes rest between.
The green and gold team netted first with Lloyd Norris-Jones hammering home in the first period and Canada equalising through a penalty corner late in the second spell.
‘It was a great goal,’ said team coach Fabian Gregory. ‘We won the ball near the halfway line and countered well for the goal.
‘I’m happy with the draw because we only had 11 players available. Ignatius Malgraff (hamstring) and Jonty robinson (knee) have injury niggles and Clinton Panther is only coming on Tuesday as he has been writing exams.
Monday saw only Julian Hykes and goalkeeper Rassie Pieterse in training action.
The 12th ranked South Africans take on Scotland in their opening fixture on Friday.
The Scottish may only be ranked 25th and lost 3-2 and 3-0 to the South Africans at the recent Investec London Cup, but as Gregory says: ‘They’ll be at home and the support will be big… this game and the one against Wales are must win games for us.
‘World champs Australia are our second match and it will be hard to get much out of that but we also have to ensure that we beat Wales in our third game and go into the final pool match against India with six points in the bag.’
Australia are ranked first in the world with India ninth and Wales languishing in 31st spot right now.