The Proteas women’s hockey side got their 2018 Commonwealth Games campaign off to a rickety start with a 2-0 defeat to England early on Thursday morning.
The side conceded an early penalty goal 10 minutes into the encounter, which coach Sheldon Rostron said placed them on the back foot from the get-go.
“To start off by giving away a goal is always hard to get back from, so I think we would have liked to have been in a bit longer before giving away our first goal,” Rostron said.
The England women doubled their lead shortly after the start of the second chukka with the Proteas unable to find their way back into the match.
Rostron could still take some positives from the match, however, as they looked to bounce back in their second Pool B match on Saturday to keep their hopes of clinching a maiden Commonwealth medal alive.
“In general, I’m pretty happy with the play and the quality, and from the second quarter we definitely put in a really good performance,” Rostron said.
“We just gave away too much space and too many short corners, so we are not happy in that department.
“But in terms of buildup and going forward we are quite happy with that, and with the territory we gained and the possession we kept higher up in the field.”
Rostron said they had expected the England match to be one of their tougher games but hoped they would improve as the tournament progress.
“This was always going to be one of our toughest games. We wanted to be competitive and hopefully get the scoreline a lot closer,” he said.
“From here on we have to make sure we build and grow and get better throughout the tournament.”