South Africa’s Under 23’s team took on their American counterparts in a series of four test matches, firstly at Estcourt and then at Snowy River near Joburg in South Africa. The South Africans emerged victorious with a 4-0 series defeat but the American team were by no means disgraced as they fought hard in each test match and kept the scores respectable against the older polocrosse nation.
The American team consisted of Sam Pohl, Quinton Jameson, Kyle Young, Renne Hicks, Caroline Gardiner and Sarah Cifelli and their coach and manager John Jameson and Allen Hicks.
The South Africans lined up as follows; Sarah Cawood, Michele Roods, Lauren Stanley, Elri Van de Merwe, Brendon Lischinski, Matthew Pilley, Wesley Flowers and Damien Harris and coach Squaky Whaley and managers Derek and Arina Leschinsky.
South Africa won the first two test matches 28-8 and 26-14 at Estcourt and the next two at Snowy River by 32-13 and 24-14. The Americans initially struggled to cope with the fast style of play that the South Africans play and the type of horses they use to play on but by the final test match they had adapted well and kept things much closer.
This is another sign of the United States continuing to grow as a polocrosse nation and striving to improve their team in the run up to the 2011 World Cup. As yet they have not claimed a major polocrosse scalp but a USA team pushed a UK development squad close in October 2008 and next year they take on Ireland in America, which will be a real chance for them to prove that their investment in the sport is paying off.