Commonwealth Games

Smith hopes for a few upsets

2014-07-22 17:30
Austin Smith (Mario Van De Wall)
Glasgow - South African men's hockey captain Austin Smith believes his side could cause an upset or two at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow starting on Wednesday.

The team won bronze at the recent London Cup where they faced England, Ireland, and Scotland in the English capital.

Although logistical problems hampered their preparations, Smith believed they had made some encouraging improvements since their 12th-place finish at the Hockey World Cup in the Netherlands in June.

"We have taken some major steps in our pattern of play, especially defensively," Smith said.

"The opportunity to play four more test matches against good opposition in a practice environment also allowed us to try some new ideas, which is extremely valuable."

After losing to England and Ireland in the London Cup, the South Africans had to settle for the bronze medal match against Scotland.

Smith said while the team would have preferred to feature in the gold-medal match, there were some positives from their victory.

"Given the setbacks with the late organisation and logistical difficulties within the squad, I'm pleased, especially with how comfortably we overcame Scotland in the playoff game," he said.

"We arrived a day before the event and without our entire squad.

"Throughout the tournament players were arriving and departing for a variety of reasons."

Smith said South Africa needed to up their game on defence and attack after the World Cup which they had done at the London tournament.

"We have improved our defensive platform from the World Cup," he said.

"This is going to create far more counter-attack opportunities as well as keeping us in the game for longer.

"The longer we keep things tight against the top teams, the better our chances are to cause an upset."

South Africa is in the same group as Scotland, current world champions Australia, Wales, and India for the Commonwealth Games.

They will face Scotland in the first match of the Games on Friday.

The other teams at the Games are England, New Zealand, Malaysia, Canada, and Trinidad & Tobago.

Read more on:    commonwealth games  |  austin smith  |  hockey

What To Read Next


Read News24’s Comments Policy publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.
Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk


How excited are you about the upcoming Olympic Games in Rio?

Love 2 Meet
Sport24 on Twitter

Follow Sport24 news on Twitter


With the Absa Premiership in full swing, who will be crowned champions when all is said and done? Will Mamelodi Sundowns defend their title? Or can Kaizer Chiefs, Orlando Pirates or Bidvest Wits mount a serious challenge? Stay glued to Sport24 to find out!

Latest blogs

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.