South Africa team triumphs at the Aon Inanda International polo featuring the highest goal polo played to date on the continent
The spectacular Aon Inanda International Polo match between South Africa and Argentina took place over the weekend, on Saturday 11 May 2019, at the home of polo, the Inanda Club. Glamourous crowds flocked to see some of the world’s best players display their formidable skills on the field, in a match, which had players ranked with a total of 25 goals, the highest goal game ever played in South Africa.
The day kicked off with an exciting Development curtain raiser featuring upcoming South Africa stars who have risen through the ranks. The game, between the Aon Red team against the Aon White team, resulted in a fierce match and ended with a score of 4-2 in favour of team Aon White.
Zompie Tsotesi, recipient of the 2014 Development Cup Most Valued Player (MVP) is an emblematic example of a success story of the development programme. Starting from grassroots level, Tsotetsi joined the Inanda Polo Academy in 2014 and has since become a professional polo player and coach. Zompie, who plays off a two handicap (2), runs a business in the Free State from where he has his origins.
Competing on a horse that is only five years old, Miss Sui, who won the best playing pony on the day, Zompie Totetsi thanked the pony’s owner by saying “The horse was purchased only three weeks ago and today, at only 5 years of age, his performance was excellent . Judging by the level of play showcased we can expect great achievements by this pony in the future.”
The excitement surrounding the 90-minute International game gained steam early, with Argentina and South Africa going head to head in the first chukka. Gathering intense pressure the momentum of the match kept building with each team defending and preventing their rival from scoring goals. Lance Watson scored 5 goals for the South African team, revealing a combination of accuracy and efficiency on the field.
By the end of the final chukka, the scoreboard read 8-8 which lead to a round of sudden death. It is not often that a test match and International go to an extra chukka, but the game showcased by the teams revealed a spectacular performance.
Unable to stop South Africa’s reign of the game, taking full control Lance Watson concluded the game of the extra chukka by scoring the winning goal which lead South Africa to victory.
“Having the opportunity of playing a High Goal match against a dynamic, passionate team, and coming out as the winners of the day made for an exceptional sporting polo weekend” said Tom de Bruin, the South African Team Captain.” Craig James, Inanda Club Polo Manager added “In one of their best performances to date South Africa played and exceptional game. The game was played in good spirit even though the Argentine side lost they displayed great skill on the field. Sportsmanship and camaraderie were the true winners on the day.
The spectacle of the game, together with incredible horsemanship, the Argentine tango display, the fine wine, glamorous fashion and the amazing guests made for an unforgettable event.
“Of great importance is the strong development component of this invitational,” says Leo Morwe, Chief Human Resources Officer at Aon South Africa. “Not only is it giving our players international exposure, but it also introduces young, up and coming talent to the world of international polo, providing an important building block in the professional careers of the players. As an organisation, we believe in empowering this possibility. Around the world our mission is to empower economic and human possibility for our clients, colleagues and communities, which is fundamental to the growth of every economy in the world,” concludes Leo.