The scene has been set for an epic all-Africa 2015 Polocrosse World Cup final showdown this Sunday, 12 July, when defending World Cup champions South Africa face Zambia on home soil at the Durban Shongweni Club.
“The upcoming all-Africa final on Sunday is the second final in the history of the Polocrosse World Cup where two African teams will be playing for the world title. The team that plays the most controlled Polocrosse will come out on top at the end of the day. It’s going to be a tough game because they are equally balanced and extremely talented teams,” commented Wessel Strauss, President: International Polocrosse Council.
In the first game of the day on Friday 10 July, a dedicated USA side held their turf in the first few chukkas and then Zimbabwe took the game away from the USA to win 28:13.
In the next game, Ireland played consistently but did not prove to be a match for New Zealand who came back strong and kept their pace throughout the game to win by a large margin of 35 goals to 18.
The much-anticipated South Africa vs Australia showdown saw the Protea ladies, with Cayley Higgs at number one, linking well with Jean Hackland and Celecia Jacobs. The ladies came out strong to triumph 5:0 in the first chukka. The next chukka was evenly balanced between the men but in the fourth chukka the Protea men beat the Australians 5:0. The Proteas played consistently in the 6th and 7th chukka but their key player, Jan Albert Steenkamp, was on the receiving end of an umpire’s call that resulted in him being sent off for the rest of the chukka. The South African side lodged a protest against the on-field umpire’s ruling that was presented to the Chief IPC Umpire and Steenkamp was cleared of any wrongdoing. Steenkamp’s absence left only two Protea players on the field and this opened the door for Australia, but they were unable to close the gap. The hard work had already been done and South Africa secured victory with 28 goals to 23. This victory sealed the Proteas place in the final on Sunday.
The final match of the day saw a strong United Kingdom ladies side open with 5:0 in the first chukka snatching the lead from Zambia. The Zambian men pulled it back to a two-goal difference in the second chukka. The Zambian ladies regrouped and from there on they dominated to keep the lead until the end of play to win 29:18 and earn a spot in the final on Sunday. Mike Krynauw was a standout as the number one player for Zambia men and the ladies section showed incredible stamina and maturity to come back from their first chukka drubbing.
Saturday 11 July sees Ireland vs USA at 10h00 in the play-off for 7th and 8th place; Zimbabwe takes on New Zealand at 14h00 in the play-off for 5th and 6th place.
Visit www.polocrosse.co.za for VIP tickets; general admission tickets can be purchased on the day at a cost of R20 per person; entrance for children under the age of 12 is free.
Members of the public are encouraged to support PASA’s efforts by purchasing a lucky draw ticket to stand a chance to win a magnificent filly, progeny from an Australian Stock horse stallion, which was imported into South Africa and bred with thoroughbred mares from good racing and sporting lines. Tickets for the lucky draw are a R100 each and can be purchased by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org. There is a guaranteed buy-back of the filly for R50,000 should the winner prefer that; second prize is a R5,000 Pick n Pay voucher. The draw will take place on 12 July after the Polocrosse World Cup 2015 final.
For more information and to follow the event, visit the official Facebook page – Polocrosse World Cup South Africa and the Twitter page – @PolocrosseSA, the official event hashtag is #PolocrosseWC.
Photography: Shannon Gilson