U16 & U18 Nationals 2015

PSI Nationals Day 6 – The State of Play

By February 10, 2016 No Comments

By Tyron Barnard

Today is the last chance for teams to move and stake their claim for a spot in the semi-finals and finals and the way the tournament has gone so far, we could be in for a few more surprises.

Under 16 Hockey

Girls B Section

The Pitbulls stormed their winning five of their six group games, with a draw against the Gryphons B. It took them into the top 6 with six points and three massive matches today to attempt to qualify for the final on Friday morning. They will face a massive challenge from the Mambas, who are continuing their fine form shown in the u13/14 nationals earlier this week. The Mambas racked up 36 goals in 6 wins winning 3 bonus points too. The teams are joined by Gryphons B, Eagles, Scorpion and Jaguars.

Game to watch: UKZN Westville @ 11:00 – Pitbulls vs. Mambas

im1Boys B Section

The Top 3 have been decided and today will just see war between them fighting for a place in the final. The Scorpions won their pool knocking out the Sunbirds on goal difference. The Pitbulls, coached by Matthew Guise-Brown beat out the Stingrays on bonus points while a similar scenario saw the Eagles overcome the Sables. The top 2 from this group will go to the final on Friday, meaning that whoever wins the opener between the Scorpions and Pitbulls will have one foot in the final already!

Game to watch: Westville Boys High School @ 08:45 – Scorpions vs. Pitbulls

im2Girls A Section

The Boland Foxes have been outstanding so far and lie in 1st place with just two group games remaining before the Semi-Finals they are almost certain to be featuring in the final four. They will be joined by the Gryphons A, the only team to avoid defeat to the Foxes so far, but there is still a battle for the last 2 spaces. The Seals (18 pts), The Vipers (15), the Hawks (13), the Panthers (10) and the Sables (10) can all secure a semi spot with full house points today. The Seals will take on two of their rivals and as such could secure their own fate while stopping someone else’s.

Game to watch: Maris Stella @ 14:00 – Seals vs. Vipers

Boys A Section

As a result of featuring ten teams, this section does not have semi-finals and instead the final will be contested between the teams ranked 1 and 2. With three games remaining the Namibian Hawks, who finished 6th last year, have been the team of quality. Two draws have been sandwiched by four wins and two more wins tomorrow will secure their place in the final. That itself won’t be easy as they take on the Foxes and the Gryphons tomorrow, however both those teams are unlikely to make the final after a poor showing. Instead the Seals and Panthers are neck-and-neck in the quest to qualify, with the Barracudas, Vipers and Stallions all hoping to strike if someone slips up. This is an incredibly exciting section of the PSI Nationals and one you have to get down to watch today if you can!

Game to watch: Kloof High School @17:45 – Barracudas vs. Vipers

Under 18 Hockey

im3Girls B Section

With just one round of fixtures in the morning to determine the semi-finalists the Scorpions are already secured in the final four, the Pitbulls are all but mathematically through as well. Which means we are left with the Sables, Mambas and Gryphons B fighting over two spots. How beautiful is it that the Mambas and Sables take each other on in what will surely be a winner takes all match.

Game to Watch: St. Marys DSG @ 10:15 – Sables vs. Mambas

Boys B Section

The double round robin means that the eventual finalists will play each other three times and it could lead to a final where the two teams tactically cancel each other out. The Sharks are the current runaway leaders and should seal their place in the final, but will face four matches on a long day that will stretch them. Most likely to join them in the final is the Pitbulls, who they have beaten twice already, but will probably only need 7 points to make the final spot theirs. The only team that can realistically catch them is the Spiders, who will need a maximum point’s day to do that.

Game to watch: UKZN Durban @ 13:30 Pitbulls vs. Spiders

im4Girls A Section

The girls A Section tournament will hit a peak today as the team’s battle out for supremacy. Defending champions, the Seals, have played some incredible hockey including a stunning 2-1 win over the Hawks and they look settled for a Semi-Final spot. The Vipers and the Hawks will join them in the final four provided there are not major hiccups during the day. That means the rights to play the Seals in the semi-finals is still up for grabs and will be decided when the inconsistent Gryphons take on the Panthers in a must win for the Joburgers.

Game to watch: PMB Girls High School @ 12:30 – Gryphons vs. Panthers

Boys A Section

And last, but most certainly not least, is the Boys A Section, the most contested crown in PSI hockey. Today saw the Seals and Gryphons play out a phenomenal and controversial draw that kept both teams maintain unbeaten records. They are both secure in the semi-finals along with the very impressive Quaggas which means with only one game left it will be either the Panthers, Barracudas, or Foxes to make it through. The Panthers play the Hawks, in a tough and physical battle but one they must win as the Barracuda’s will in all likelihood get a full house against the hapless Gryphons B side. Should the Barracuda’s and Panthers slip up the Foxes could sneak through with a win against the Gryphons. If I was a betting man I’d go with Panthers joining the final four.

Game to watch: Westville Boys High School @ 11:00 – Panthers vs. Hawks

Head over the PSI Youtube channel and watch the highlights of each day, done superbly by Enhanced Sports, or you can stay up to date with PSI on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram!

Figure 1-4 Photo – LB & ANZ Event Photography