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Smith expects exciting hockey encounter

August 9, 2012 08:55 am

Great Britain defender Richard Smith is confident they can match Holland in the attacking stakes as they bid to make their first Olympic hockey final since the gold medal winners of 1988.

Their Dutch opponents won all five pool games, scoring 18 times, and are second-favourites behind world number ones Australia. By contrast GB drew against Spain, their second of the group stage, to qualify but Smith believes they have only shown flashes of their best play.

He expects the encounter to be an open one and believes they have enough in their armoury to take on the Dutch and win. Smith said: "Hopefully we can play at an intensity which makes it hard for them to play like that and then counter-attack their play with our own good attacking hockey."

He added: "Hopefully it will be a nice open game and we'll see who can end the best - I don't think it will be too much of a chess game but possibly more so than a few years ago."

Great Britain's men's hockey team are hoping to go one better than Britain's women who lost 2-1 to Argentina in their semi-final on Wednesday night.

The hosts were downed by first-half goals from Noel Barrionuevo and Carla Rebecchi, while Alex Danson's late close-range strike was only a consolation.

"I have an overwhelming sense of pride in how well the girls played and it is a bitter disappointment, having played so well, we didn't come out on the right end of the result," said coach Danny Kerry, whose side now face New Zealand in the bronze medal play-off.

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