We have received the following report from Sarah Harris who is with the SA u16 girls team in New Zealand
“The SA u16 A team has had an awesome first week at Pan Pacs. Coming into the tournament in peak physical condition, the girls were up for a fight. The unforgiving format of the tournament meant that you had to finish first in your pool to go through to the top 4. There was no room for error and we managed to win all of our pool games, scraping through in some but showing huge heart. We met the overall tournament winners, the NSW blues in our semi final where we went 3-1 up only for them to level 3 all going into the 4th. Experience showed for them and not being able to handle the pressure meant that in the 4th quarter we let things get away from us and we ended up losing and fighting for bronze. The bronze medal match was another tight affair with the young inexperienced SA team learning more valuable lessons on pressure and following through on team tactics. We ended up going down 5-7 but fighting right to the end.
We finished 4th out of 24 teams and showed that SA teams can match it with these other countries. We, as coaching staff have been able to see what we need to focus on when we get home but the girls have also had a taste of how different international polo is, how much tougher it is to get the foul and how much more physical play is.
Next week we play in the u18 division and are so excited to be tested even further by having to play older, stronger and more physical teams.
So proud of this team and so excited to watch their growth in week 2.
For further pics of the teams in NZ, please visit the WPSWP Facebook page.