PHL preview to 3rd week’s fixtures

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The Premier Hockey League has been a huge success so far. The PHL has allowed for different provinces to mix and become accustomed to different playing styles as well as game plans. Players have not only illustrated their ability to adapt to different playing styles, but have also shown huge improvement throughout. Playing with players we would not normally play with allows for more friendships to be built among the hockey community. Younger players are also being exposed to higher level hockey which will in turn trigger faster growth among the younger players of South Africa.

The only negative from the PHL thus far are inconsistent umpiring decisions which could affect the outcome of important fixtures. Officials are there to facilitate and control the game. There are however two weekends left of the competition, so let’s anticipate a positive change.

Saturday

 

Addo Elephants vs Golden Gate Gladiators (12h00)

The Gladiators have had a great run so far in the PHL. Can they continue their impressive performances? The Addo Elephants have not been as

The Addo Elephants have not been as fortunate but have played some impressive hockey in each encounter. The Elephants have a forward line who will counter-attack looking to eliminate one or two defenders if need be. The Gladiators will have to get numbers behind the ball as soon as possible to limit the counter-attacking opportunities. Concentration will be the big challenge for the Gladiators. They tend to concede when their concentration lapses so that should be their focus to secure the three points from victory.

Drakensburg Dragons vs Garden Route Gazelles (16h00)

The Dragons have played some impressive hockey so far in the PHL and should take the three points against the Gazelles. The Gazelles are weak in defence and across their midfield which will allow the Dragons to force continued pressure to ensure numerous circle entries. The Gazelles are fortunate to have an extremely knowledgeable coach who has had years of experience on as well as off the field. He will come up with a game plan which might limit the Dragons from playing their usual style. The outcome will depend on how well the Dragons adapt to what the Gazelles throw at them.

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Mapungubwe Mambas vs Maropeng Cavemen (18h00)

The Mambas had a very unfortunate weekend just loosing out on 3 points vs the Gladiators. The Mambas are a team who will produce a result if you give them any sniff of doing so. Their midfield and forward line have skillful players throughout, so you can expect their team to generate momentum from here. The Cavemen have had a great 2 weeks taking 3 points in all their games. They do however have their moments where things do not go in their favour, this is when the opposition should look to put them away. The encounter between these two teams will be an exciting one filled with immense structure as well as skill through out the field. The Cavemen would be expected to win the battle, but if the Mambas bring their A game on the day, they could produce a result they are in need of.

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Sunday

Drakensburg Dragons vs Golden Gate Gladiators  (10h00)

This will be the game of the weekend, these are two teams with quality players throughout. They are both extremely structured teams with creative players in each line. It will certainly be an interesting encounter, it will be difficult to say who should take the three points in the end. Let’s wait and see.

Addo Elephants vs Maropeng Cavemen  (14h00)

The Elephants will rely on their counter attack to come away with a win against the Cavemen. If the Cavemen are able to maintain their structure in defence, there should be no problem limiting the Elephants to few opportunites. The Cavemen have been playing well as a team throughout the PHL thus far, if they are able to continue with their composed performances they should take the three points comfortably.

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