Quintin van Jaarsveld
Paddock Polocrosse Club players produced standout performances for South Africa in the three-match international series against Zambia in Richmond at the weekend.
Paige Pretorius and Kenan Classen graduated to the Under-19 ranks this year where they thrived just as they did for younger national age-group outfits, helping the hosts to a clean sweep.
With Zimbabwe not coming down as originally scheduled, Jens Bunge and the national Under-16 side took on a Zambian Barbarians side and notched up three convincing victories.
The South African Under-19s set the tone for the series with a 31-14 win in the opening match on Friday and followed it up with a 35-14 win the following day before completing the clean sweep with a 33-16 victory on Sunday.
Pretorius was in prolific form and scooped the Best Lady Player of the Series accolade, while her horse Sweet November won the Golden Pony of the Series prize.
“It was an exceptional experience to represent the SA Under-19 side,” Pretorius told eHowzit.
“The tour was an amazing experience overall, getting to make unforgettable memories with my friends and teammates.
“It feels remarkable to be the best lady player of the series and I am so proud of Sweet November for getting golden pony.”
Classen was also key to the side’s success and showcased new skills he learned during a recent stint in Australia.
“It was a great honour and privilege to play against such strong opposition with my team,” he said.
“The highlight of the series was obviously winning the tests, but being part of such an amazing team was probably my biggest highlight.”
Bunge represented the South African Under-16s for the second year in a row and helped the team beat the Zambian Barbarians 28-14, 26-11 and 27-16.
“It was an awesome privilege to play for South Africa again. We had a good team that worked together really well against our opposition,” he said.
Photos by Shannon Gilson