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Huge test for SA against world's best

There will be thrills and spills aplenty when world No 1 and 2012 Olympic Games gold medallists The Netherlands tackle the host country in Thursday night's dream match of Investec Challenge day three at Hartleyvale Stadium in Cape Town.

Tuesday night saw blood spilt and tempers frayed to the limit during SA's bruising 1-1 draw with Australia's golden Hockeyroos and the South Africans will have to sweat blood on Thursday night if they are to contain the silky skills of the Oranje's Kitty van Male and much-decorated captain Maartje Paumen, to name just two of head coach Max Caldas's superstars.

Thursday's 8pm start is sure to see the Oranje's superb individual skills matched by the quality and fighting spirit that has been so evident in the Investec South African women's hockey team during this prestigious event in the Mother City.

South Africa's world record holder Pietie Coetzee, now on 260 goals in 260 test matches, will be challenged at penalty corner time by arguably the world's top goalkeeper in the Oranje's Joyce Sombroek, while SA stopper Sanani Mangisa - in the form of her life - will need to produce yet another superlative performance to prevent the imperious Paumen from adding a couple more to her tally following Tuesday's brace in the 4-1 win over England.

The Dutch are probably the most technically sound team on the planet, but the fast breaks and ball control of the South Africans have indicated that they are no slouches in the skills department themselves and this clash shapes up to be the round-robin match of the week ahead of Saturday's semifinals and Sunday's medal matches.

Thursday's 6pm clash will see Australia shaking off the bumps and bruises in a bid to beat the old enemy, England.

Tickets cost R20 for adults and R10 for scholars.


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