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Skipper’s pride as impressive Britain seal first win of 2024 World Championships

Proud skipper Kathy Rogers hailed her Great Britain team after they secured their first win of the 2024 World Championships with a comprehensive victory over Paris-bound South Africa in Doha.

An impressive 14-5 triumph ensured Nick Buller’s side will finish third in Group D and are guaranteed a top 12 placing at their first World Championships in more than a decade.

A hat-trick from Toula Falvey, two apiece for Rogers, Katie Brown and Lily Turner and goals from Katy Cutler, Annie Clapperton, Lotte van Wingerden, Brooke Tafazolli and Amelia Peters wrapped up a magnificent all-round performance.

Player-of-the-match Rogers said: “We knew the first two games would be really challenging but this was the game we focused on.

“To come out here and put that strong performance in, that team performance in feels fantastic – I’m really proud of the girls.

“It’s been the craziest six months. From European qualification where we were the lowest-ranked team going in to be here at the World Champs, it’s just been a wild ride.”

South Africa, who have already qualified for the 2024 Olympic Games, went ahead with their first attack of the match but were then blown away by a ruthless British side.

They led 5-2 at the end of the first quarter and stretched their advantage to 9-2 at the half-time interval thanks to two of four power play goals they scored during the game.

Falvey secured her hat-trick in quarter three as Britain opened up an 11-goal cushion and although South Africa took the last quarter 2-0, it couldn’t dampen the spirits of the British team.

Big deal

The victory ensured Britain had achieved their first goal of the tournament – and Falvey said they were looking forward to the rest of the competition.

“This was a big game for us,” said Falvey. “Coming into the tournament we knew what was at a stake.

“We had two tough games with Canada and Italy but knowing that we had South Africa to play for third place in our group and to come top 12 in the world is a really big deal. 

“The last time GB was in world they came 13th in Barcelona. That was our first goal in this tournament to beat that and that’s what we have done. 

“Now we’re going to push forward. We really want to push into this top 12 and play against these bigger teams and show them what we have.

“We set some different goals for the tournament and this was our first one. 

“We want to try and play in that 9-10 game. We want to see what else we can do and show them what we have. 

“We have some good players on this team, we play as a team and we’re really excited for our future.” 

The British team will now play the Group C second-place finishers – either Australia or Hungary – in the round of 16 matches on Saturday 10 February.