SA look to end tour on a high
South African men's hockey coach Gregg Clark is looking to iron out the last of his side's issues when they wrap up their 17-day tour of Ireland and Spain on Wednesday evening in an unofficial test against India in Santander.
"It's certainly an opportunity for us to try and put right one or two key aspects of the game where we still haven't hit our straps," Clark said.
"In terms of our focus that we set ourselves before we started the tour, and how we wanted to finish on this tour, it's a very important game for us."
A spirited fightback from the South Africans in their first match against India on Sunday evening was not enough to salvage a result, as India closed out a narrow 6-5 victory in the highest scoring game of their tour thus far.
"We were a bit disappointed with our performance against India, despite the fact that we scored five goals. We conceded far too many soft goals," Clark said.
The coach added that his side had placed a lot of emphasis on putting together two good halves of play, maintaining a consistent level of concentration and not having to chase the game after the halftime break.
"We have got better at it [playing well for 70 minutes]," he said.
"Yesterday was poor against India in the first half but much better in the second.
"Something we tried to focus on in Ireland was making the transition from the first half to the second half because we didn't get it right in a couple of the games there.
"For the most part, we are well on our way to where we want to be."
Earlier in the week, South Africa had a chance to train on the new blue turf – in preparation for the one they can expect at the London Games – before playing their first competitive match on the surface.
"For the India game, we had one-and-a-half training sessions on the pitch," Clark said.
"Its always difficult to adjust to a new pitch. This is our first blue turf experience.
"I don't think its been a massive transition, but I'm sure it does have an effect."