South Africa’s hockey teams’ campaigns at the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games ended in disappointment with both the men and the women losing their respective playoff matches.
The Proteas women’s team slipped from fourth place at Glasgow 2014 to sixth in Australia after suffering a 3-1 defeat to Canada in their classification match.
The men ended in 10th place — their worst performance at the Games since Kuala Lumpur 1998 — dropping five spots from Glasgow 2014 after their 3-2 loss to Wales on Friday.
The South African teams came into the Games undercooked without any international game time under their belts and instead they had to prepare by hosting internal camps.
They were ultimately set up to fail in a year that includes the Commonwealth Games and the FIH World Cups later in the season.
The sides showed flashes of their potential with a young men’s team claiming a good 2-0 victory over Canada but the rest of the results reads like a horror story.
The men’s team opened their campaign with a 4-2 loss to Scotland before taking a 4-0 hiding against Australia, followed by a 6-0 walloping at the hands of New Zealand.
The women’s side opened their campaign with a 2-0 defeat to England before drawing 1-1 with Malaysia but bounced back with a 2-0 victory over Wales.
The produced their best performance at the Games against but still suffered a 1-0 defeat in the process.
They were on the backfoot early on in their encounter with Canada conceding a goal nine minutes into the match before the North Americans double the scores shortly before the end of the first chukka.
The Canadians rubbed salt in the wounds shortly after the restart for the final quarter courtesy of a Natalie Sourisseau goal.
Candice Manuel brought some respectability to the scoreline with her goal in the 55th minute but it will be of little consolation for a side with ambitions of cracking the top-10 rankings in the world.