Olympic Games London 2012
London, Great Britain - July 30 - 11, 2012

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South Africa's looking to bounce back

July 31, 2012
Centurion Cronje positive for GB tie
Despite falling 6-0 to Australia in his side’s opening tie of the men’s Olympic Games, South African sweeper Andrew Cronje is confident the tournament’s lowest ranked side can make a big impact in London.
It was the former Corinthian man's 100th appearance for the country, one from which he was hoping for some slightly better memories from
<a href="http://www.hookhockey.com/wp-content/uploads/SBR1319-Version-2..m.w580.h435.jpg"><img src="http://www.hookhockey.com/wp-content/uploads/SBR1319-Version-2..m.w580.h435-300x199.jpg" alt="" title="_SBR1319 - Version 2..m.w580.h435" width="300" height="199" class="wp-image-15679 size-medium alignright" /></a>“I never thought I’d get here when I started off but as the game drew closer, it got very exciting. To do it with this team and group of players and friends is an extremely proud moment,” he told The Hook.
“Ultimately, though, we are here to get results and if we get those it will mean more than 100 caps. But we have five or six more games to go and we’ll be focusing on those.”
A day earlier, Marsha Marescia – from the South African women’s team – said that her side, in some ways, expected to lose against Argentina in some respects but any thoughts of “damage limitation” from the men were quickly dismissed.
“They’re ranked one, we’re ranked 12 so the potential for this to happen was there but we will bounce back. For us, we are such a positive group.
“The reality, against a top team, is you get it wrong and it really hurts. We have set high expectations but the turnovers we gave up were unacceptable. We know that’s the way they play, coming at you in numbers. But our structure to defend wasn’t good enough.
“We prepared well and were feeling very confident but we obviously got a few things wrong. There’s a small margin for error and we got punished.”
And he says the next game against hosts Great Britain is a big opportunity: “The atmosphere here was great and the next match against GB is going to be even better. We did beat them in February and drew a series in South Africa so we are confident. We have to make one or two tweaks but we back our plan and our structures.”
<strong>** Photo courtesy of Stanislas Brochier/FIH</strong>

Despite falling 6-0 to Australia in his side’s opening tie of the men’s Olympic Games, South African sweeper Andrew Cronje is confident the tournament’s lowest ranked side can make a big impact in London. It was the his 100th appearance for the country, one from which he was hoping for some slightly better memories from.

“I never thought I’d get here when I started off but as the game drew closer, it got very exciting. To do it with this team and group of players and friends is an extremely proud moment,” he told the FIH. “Ultimately, though, we are here to get results and if we get those it will mean more than 100 caps. But we have five or six more games to go and we’ll be focusing on those.”

While many would view the disparity between the tournament top ranked side and the bottom would lead to an inevitable result, any thoughts of “damage limitation” from South Africa were quickly dismissed.

“They’re ranked one, we’re ranked 12 so the potential for this to happen was there but we will bounce back. For us, we are such a positive group. The reality, against a top team, is you get it wrong and it really hurts. We have set high expectations but the turnovers we gave up were unacceptable. We know that’s the way they play, coming at you in numbers.

"But our structure to defend wasn’t good enough. We prepared well and were feeling very confident but we obviously got a few things wrong. There’s a small margin for error and we got punished.”

And he says the next game against hosts Great Britain is a big opportunity: “The atmosphere here was great and the next match against GB is going to be even better. We did beat them in February and drew a series in South Africa so we are confident. We have to make one or two tweaks but we back our plan and our structures.”

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