If hockey had a mercy rule it would have been enforced last night as the South African men’s side blew Zimbabwe away with a 16-0 drubbing at the Randburg Hockey Stadium to kick start their African Hockey Championships campaign.
The gulf in class was evident from the push back as the South Africans won their first penalty corner inside the first minute and Matthew Guise-Brown duly obliged with his first of the night with a drag-flick.
From then on out the goals came thick and fast and the hosts went into halftime 9-0 up against a Zimbabwe side who had 15 debutants in their match day squad.
The neighbours had very little answer to the waves of South Africa’s attack and were caught on the counter a number of times.
Their inefficiency on attack was also noted with only two attempts on goal both comfortably saved by Jacques le Roux. In fact, so unnecessary was the need for a blocker at the back for South Africa that the shot-stopper may as well have live-tweeted the game from his vantage point.
Guise-Brown ended as the top goal-scorer with a haul of five while forward Lloyd Norris-Jones bagged a hattrick of his own. There was space on the scoresheet for Ignatius Malgraff, Brandon Panther and Jean-Pierre de Voux who each managed two goals while Richard Pautz and Daniel Sibbald, making up for a yellow card, added one apiece.
The men will take on Botswana at 4.45pm today while the South African women’s side begin their tournament against Nigeria at 2.30pm but it remains to be seen whether they’ll enjoy much support given that both games are scheduled to take place at the same time as high-profile rugby fixtures.