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SA polocrosse team determined to prove to Aussies that they’re best

2015-07-07 10:20
18-year-old Caley Higgs, the youngest member of the South African Polocrosse team, will be on the field when the Proteas take on Australia in the semi-finals of the World Cup at Shongweni on Friday.

THE South African national polocrosse team will get the chance to prove that winning the sport’s World Cup in 2011 was no fluke when they face former world champions Australia in Friday’s semi-final at Shongweni.

Proteas coach Bruce Maclarty, an ex-national team player himself, felt they had a good chance of beating the Aussies, who, he said, regarded themselves as the undisputed polocrosse champions, having won the World Cup in 2003 and 2007.

“There’s a massive rivalry between us,” Maclarty told The Witness yesterday.

“They’d won the World Cup twice and they felt they were the undisputed champions of the world, and us beating them in the semi-final in 2011 was a big shock around the world,” Maclarty said.

“Anything can happen in the semi-final. It’s two quality teams coming together and the knockout stages are ruthless.”

Planning for the competition started as soon as the Proteas won the last World Cup in England where they beat the competition’s surprise package Zimbabwe in the final.

“We started planning then, but we’ve been together as a team since August,” he said.

As the sport of polocrosse is still amateur, the team can only get together once a month, but it also helped that the majority of the players are based in KwaZulu-Natal.

“All the players are great friends and everyone gets along,” said Maclarty, adding that skipper Gavin Cocker, at 43, was the team’s oldest player while 18-year-old Caley Higgs was the youngest.

Maclarty added that they played in front of a crowd of 3 000 last weekend, and he was hoping to see a similar number of people in their crucial encounter against the Australians.

The other semi-final will feature the United Kingdom and surprise package Zambia.


Friday July 10

08h30 United States of America vs Zimbabwe

10h30 New Zealand vs Ireland

12h30 South Africa vs Australia

14h30 Zambia vs United Kingdom

Saturday July 11

10h00 Play for 7th and 8th place

14h00 Play for 5th and 6th place

Sunday 12th July

10h00 Play for 3rd and 4th place

14h00 Finals


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