Hockey: England earn opening win in South Africa

Jonathan Griffiths
England's Jonathan Griffiths fights for the ball

England's men started their 2020 Olympic cycle with a 5-2 win over South Africa in Cape Town.

In the first of four Tests, England led 2-1 at the break and scored twice late on to secure a comfortable victory.

Chris Griffiths, Sam Ward, Michael Hoare, Liam Ansell and David Goodfield scored for a much-changed England side.

"We were a little inconsistent as the group are learning about international hockey but it was nice to pick up a victory," said coach Bobby Crutchley.

England, who have six Olympians in their squad, are back in action against Germany on Saturday.

They then face a rematch with the hosts on Monday and another meeting with the Germans on Wednesday.

Phil Roper will miss those games, though, after being hit in the face by a ball during training. He is due to undergo surgery on Friday on a fractured cheek and nose.

England's women are also in South Africa and a squad boasting seven players who won Olympic gold in Rio have beaten their hosts 4-2 and 3-0 in two practice matches.

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