We left NZ on the 9th of July for Bremen, Germany to play in a 4 nations tournament prior to coming into the Olympic Village. We were there for about 5 days and came up against Belgium, South Africa and Germany. We lost a practise game against Germany in the lead up to the tournament where we played pretty well but didn’t make the most of our opportunities. We then faced the Belgium and South Africa sides and we didn’t really know what to expect as we have never played Belgium before and haven’t played the South Africans since Commonwealth Games in 2010. We did well and managed to win both of these games to put ourselves into which was basically the final of the 4 nations against Germany. We lost this game to a really sharp German side and we actually learnt quite a bit off them in terms of stepping up another notch. They seemed to have really done their homework since that first game and it showed by how they had adjusted their style slightly to counteract ours.
After this tournament we came into the Olympic Village for 2 days, got in a bit of training and hockey meetings along with checking out the village and basically setting up what would be our home for the next 3 weeks. After these 2 days we headed to Le Tourquet, France for about 4 days of R&R. To begin with the weather wasn’t ideal but the last couple of days it came right and a few of the girls took advantage of the beach and cafes in the sun. I think it was a great break and something that our side needed before getting stuck in again this week. We are now 3 days away from the first match of the games against Australia and with a couple of trainings and one more practise game to go the team is ready to just get out on the pitch and get underway.
The picture below is of our team under the Olympic Rings in the village.
(other pictures are curtesy of dcimages)