The Australian water polo league came to an exciting conclusion this weekend in Sydney, with champions crowned in both the men’s and women’s divisions.
In the men’s league, The University of New South Wales (UNSW) Magpies won a third consecutive title downing their city rivals, the Sydney Uni Lions, by a slender scoreline (11-10). The Sydney Uni Lions women’s team went one further in their final, bossing UWA Torpedoes 18-5 to win a first title since 2017.
2023 Australian League, Men’s Finals
UNSW Wests Magpies 11-10 Sydney Uni Lions
UNSW: J. Paidevin, R. Campbell 2, N. Power, A. Seiya 2, J. Gilchrist, T. Reeves, M. Byrnes 4, S. Negus, M. Murphy, M. de Gail, A. Lambie 3, L. Hollis, K. Tanamura
Lions: G. Tomasevic 3, T. Goldschmidt, C. Poot, J. Mercep 1, J. Schuler, K. Wicken, T. McJannett, J. Cavano 3, W. Miller 1, J. Cotterill, A. Hrysanthos, L. Schuler, R. Howden
Drummoyne Devils 5 – 10 ACU Cronulla Sharks
Drummoyne: L. Barker, S. Slobodien 1, A. Hall, N. Hallam, J. Molina 1, L. Pasuljevic, M. Marceta, J. Lancaster, L. Hurley, R. Moody 1, J. Deely 2, M. Gronow, A. Roach
Sharks: S. Cocokios, T. Glanznig 2, M. Maksimovic 2, B. Matthews, D. Davis 1, D. Kerr 1, T. Hawkins, M. Berehulak 3, K. Glanznig, N. Brooks 1, N. Crowe, K. Gilchrist, R. McKell
UNSW West Magpies have won the men’s league for the seventh time, retaining their title from last season with a narrow 11-10 win over Sydney Uni Lions. The Magpies were in control from the get-go, but the Lions’ complicated proceedings by refusing to lie down.
Matthew Byrnes four goals in the contest were more than pivotal; however, on the defensive front, the Magpies probably owe a lot of thanks to their two-time Japanese Olympian, Katsuyuki Tanamura, who made a number of key saves to hold off a late onslaught from the side from the capital.
Elsewhere, the Cronulla Sharks didn’t let their earlier defeat to Drummoyne define their competition, showing their mettle by taking a 10-5 win in the Bronze medal match.
The Sharks started off strong, with the scores tied at 2-2 at the end of the first quarter. But they shifted into high gear in the second quarter. The Sharks showed no signs of letting up into the second sector; with their offence firing on all cylinders, the Sharks put five goals past the Devil’s defence to clinch a well-deserved bronze medal.
Marcus Berehulak found a hat-trick, while there were braces apiece for Tristan Glanznig and Milos Maksimovic.
2023 Australian League, Women’s Finals
UWA Torpedoes 8 – 15 Sydney Uni Lions
UWA: C. Harache, R. Gibb, B. Knox 1, C. Earl, D. O’Leary 1, P. Pedley 2. G. Giachi 3, I. Sayer, A. Childs, E. Putt 1, B. Cranley, I. Mulligan, M. Moore.
Lions: I. Pamp, M. Megens 4, L. Marsh 2, A. Lambert, B. Humby, S. Hardingham 1, I. Ditterick 1, D. Morissey 2, S. Henshaw 1, M. Powells, A. Pamp 1, A. Espar 3, V. Ridhalgh
Fremantle Marlins 9 – 10 Griffith University Queensland Thunder
Fremantle: L. Hedges, S. Watson, I. Haralabidis 2, M. Quinn, S. Chaves 1, S. Leavy, G. McGhie 3, S. Haralabidis 3, S. Pontre, J. Bihler, I. Scott, A. Forest, C. Leather
Queensland: A. West, S. Miliken, E. Armit 4, B. Leeson-Smith, M. Steere, T. Jones 1, K. Dalziel 1, T. Taoso, J. Emerson 2, A. Watt 2, T. Fasala, E. Goth, C. Johnson
In the women’s league, the Sydney Uni Lions put on a commanding performance to clinch the gold medal in style, torpedoing the UWA Torpedoes with a resounding 15-8 victory.
After six years, the women’s title returns to the Australian capital with their hybrid team of exciting young Aussie talent, and the class of their foreign imports. On the day, their European stars accounted for seven goals; four for Maud Megens and three for Anni Espar, but there were also double strikes from Dani Morrissey and Paris 2024 outsider, Luci Marsh.
In the bronze medal match, Griffith University Queensland Thunder held on to down Fremantle Marlins 10-9. Despite a valiant comeback by the Marlins in the second half, where they outscored the Thunder by two goals, last season’s champions held on to their slim lead. Tokyo Olympian Elle Armit, who looks in good shape since her return to the Australian national team, found four goals to help her side to the bronze medal.
Previous winners – Men
Fremantle Mariners – 6 wins – (2012, 2011, 2009, 2001, 2000, 1998)
Cronulla Sharks – 5 wins – (1999, 1997, 1996, 1995, 1994)
Richmond Tigers – 4 wins – (1993, 1992, 1991, 1990)
Sydney Uni Lions – 4 wins – (2018, 2005, 2003, 2002)
UNSW Wests Magpies – 3 wins – (2022, 2019, 2008)
Victorian Tigers – 2 wins – (2013, 2010)
Brisbane Barracudas – 1 win – (2004)
UWA Torpedoes – 1 win – (2016)
Previous winners – Women
Brisbane Barracudas – 6 wins – (2015, 2013, 2011, 2010, 2009, 1999)
Fremantle Marlins – 5 wins – (2014, 2008, 2007, 2005, 2004)
Sydney Uni Lions – 2 wins – (2017, 2016)
Cronulla Sharks – 2 wins – (2012, 2006)
Queensland Thunder – 2 wins – (2022, 2019)
UNSW Wests Killer Whales – 1 win – (2018)