In Round 7 of the Australian Water Polo League, ten games were played last week. The Cronulla Sharks won all four games on the road to take the top spot. They are followed by the UNSW Wests Magpies who suffered their first loss this season.
After two remarkable victories over Adelaide Jets water polo players, the Cronulla Sharks proved too strong for the WPA Barbarians as well. In their first game on Thursday, Sharks triumphed against the Jets 12-5, who a day later managed to score one goal less, thanks to a solid defensive play by the Cronulla squad that easily won, 13-4. Hosted by Victorian Barbarians team, the Sharks recorded a nice 12-5 win. On Sunday, water polo players from Cronulla again proved too strong for their rival, 13-3. In the next round, the Lions will be playing in Sydney against the Lions who are currently in the 3rd spot and are only 2 points behind the Sharks and Magpies.
The Jets have until now recorded only one victory and currently take the 11th position, while the Barbarians are the last with no victories achieved.
During the last week, Sharks water polo players were not the only ones who played four matches on the road. However, the Balmain Tigers were not as successful, and defeated only the Fremantle Mariners on Sunday (7-6). They started well with a 2:0 lead, but Mariners lowered the difference to 2:1 until the end of the first quarter. The Tigers then reached a three-goal advantage by the last minute of the first half. However, they went on a break with 5:3. When there were around six minutes left until the end of the game, the visiting team scored even four goals more than their opponent. Although Mariners stepped up their game and prevented the Tigers from netting any more goals, they only managed to bring the deficit down to one.
Their previous game also ended with a narrow 8-7 win, but not in favor of the Tigers. Fremantle water polo players were more successful on Friday, in a match with a more unpredictable outcome. The teams played a very balanced game and no team had an advantage greater than +1 until the last two minutes of the game.
In their first appearance at UWA Aquatic Centre, the Torpedoes returned home after eleven games of the 2017 NWPL season being on the road, and hosted the Balmain Tigers on Thursday and Saturday. Despite a tied second half, the Torpedoes stormed home for an 8:4 victory in the first of 11 straight games at UWA Aquatic Centre this season. Florian Naroska and Nick Hughes netted two goals each, while goalkeeper Luke Quinlivan was excellent and kept the Tigers to four goals, including an amazing penalty save. The second match saw the Torpedoes take on the Tigers 6:4. The game’s top scorer was Andrew Ford who found the net two times.
Elsewhere, the Brisbane Barracudas hosted the Queensland Breakers and came out with a 14-6 win, while the Magpies were defeated at home (9-11) by the Sydney University Lions.
NWPL Round 7
Thursday, February 23
Jets vs. Sharks 5:12 (1:5, 2:3, 0:2, 2:2)
Torpedoes vs. Tigers 8:4 (3:1, 2:0, 2:2, 1:1)
Friday, February 24
Jets vs. Sharks 4:13 (1:3, 0:5, 1:2, 2:3)
Mariners vs. Tigers 8:7 (3:4, 3:2, 2:0, 0:1)
Saturday, February 25
Magpies vs. Lions 9:11 (0:2, 1:2, 4:0, 2:3 – 2:4)
Barbarians vs. Sharks 5:12
Barracudas vs. Breakers 14:6 (5:3, 3:1, 3:1, 3:1)
Torpedoes vs. Tigers 6:4 (1:1, 2:1, 1:0, 2:2)
Sunday, February 26
Barbarians vs. Sharks 3:13 (1:3, 1:4, 0:2, 1:4)
Mariners vs. Tigers 6:7 (1:2, 2:3, 0:1, 3:1)
1. ACU Cronulla Sharks 14 – 44 pts
2. UNSW Wests Magpies 12 – 44
3. Sydney University Lions 14 – 42
4. UWA Torpedoes 13 – 35
5. Drummoyne Devils 14 – 32
6. Brisbane Barracudas 11 – 28
7. UTS Balmain Tigers 13 – 24
8. Fremantle Mariners 13 – 24
9. Hunter Hurricanes 11 – 13
10. Queensland Breakers 11 – 12
11. FYFE Adelaide Jets 14 – 4
12. WPA Barbarians 12 – 0