Shane O’Donoghue gave the 15th ranked Irish the lead converting their third penalty corner before Taine Paton squared things up for the 12th ranked South Africans. Mitch Darling put the Green Machine ahead to ensure his side held the lead at half-time. Alan Sothern then struck a brace before Lance Louw reduced the margin for South Africa, but Ireland did enough to close out the match for a 4-2 win.
Hosts and 5th ranked England made a rollicking start to their campaign clobbering 24th ranked Scotland 6-0. Ashley Jackson and Mark Gleghorne scored a brace each, while Phil Roper and Simon Mantell scored a goal each.
Meanwhile, in the women’s section, 6th ranked England obliterated their World Cup blues with a 8-0 hammering of 32nd ranked Wales. Alex Danson fired a brace while Sophie Bray, Susannah Townsend, Laura Unsworth, Ellie Watton, captain Kate Richardson-Walsh and Giselle Ansley scored a goal each. In the other women’s match 11th ranked South Africa downed 16th ranked Scotland Scotland 2-0.