Jan 28, 2024

France completes the series victory in final test

South Africa had been the better team over the first half of the test series, but the Paris 2024 hosts France had roared back in the second half of the series to set up a final match up in the series finale on Sunday afternoon.

Just before the end of the first quarter Ines Lardeur struck a decent reverse stick shot to open the scoring. The South Africans were frustrated as they had failed to convert from their three penalty corners in the opening 15 minutes.

The frustration was short lived as Taheera Augousti produced a remarkable run up the right and picked out Bianca Wood superbly, Wood in turn fired her own reverse stick strike into the backboard to level matters. 1-1 and game on.

But the parity was short lived France produced an outstanding counter attack and Lhopital provided one of the best finishes of the series roofing a reverse stick strike. Marlise van Tonder would later make a great save from a penalty corner but from a later one an intentional foul was called, and a stroke awarded. Despite Dimba diving the right way, Verzuva finish was too good.

South Africa again had a penalty corner with the immediate opportunity to pull a goal back, but it was more frustration for the South Africans. That frustration was compounded in the fourth quarter when France converted a penalty corner and the South Africans failed on three more occasions. France would secure the victory in the test and the series.

The South Africans will regroup before their next camp and matches with the full focus on developing towards the Paris Olympics later this year.

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