England triumphed over South Africa in the inaugural Kurland Polo International earlier this month, to take home the Clements Cup.

England took on South Africa at the stunning 700-hectare Kurland estate in Plettenberg Bay in a fiercely contested match, with the excitable crowd adding to the tense atmosphere.

South Africa came into this competition oozing confidence on the back of a clean sweep in a two-test series against Australia in August, and were quick to take the initiative when they went 2 goals up in the first chukka.

Under Luke Tomlinson’s leadership, England, who beat South Africa 7-5 in this fixture last year, didn’t allow South Africa to keep the advantage, and drew level before a series of field goals in the fifth chukka took them into the lead.

Going into the final chukka leading 13-8, the English boys were quick to secure their advantage, scoring a goal within the first minute of the sixth chukka. South Africa scored a last minute consolation goal to make the final score 14-9.

Luke Tomlinson, named most valuable player of the match, said: “It wasn’t till the third chukka that we really began to find our rhythm and gel as a team. It’s a very good win taking into account we are playing away from home and the South Africans have played as a team on a number of occasions.”

With such high-profile sponsors as BMW, Cartier, Pam Golding Properties and Moet & Chandon, the Kurland International is rapidly becoming one of polo’s most interesting fixtures, as well as one of the top social events in South Africa.

The tournament, the highlight of which is the England-South Africa test, coincides with a hiatus in the international polo calendar, so that it is fast becoming a world-class destination for the glamorous, daredevil game in a country where polo continues to go from strength to strength.

Teams

England: Jamie Le Hardy (6); Mark Tomlinson (6); Luke Tomlinson (7); Alan Kent (5).

South Africa: Selby Williamson (6); Dougie Lund (6); Russell Watson (6); Gillespie Armstrong (5).