Australia falls to Russia in bronze-medal play-off

1 August 2006

Despite Kate Gynther’s remarkable scoring prowess, Australia missed the bronze medal at the FINA women’s water polo World League Super Finals in Cosenza, Italy, losing to Russia 12-7 overnight.

Queenslander Gynther was for the second consecutive year the highest goal-scorer at the Super Finals but even her three goals (for a total of 18) in the bronze-medal match were not enough to succumb a rampant Russia who built the victory on a 4-1 opening quarter.

The United States of America claimed its second crown, winning the third edition 9-6 over Olympic champion Italy.

The Netherlands took fifth place, beating Canada 9-7.

Australia beat last year’s runner-up Russia 14-12 three days earlier.

Head coach Greg McFadden said: “We could not repeat our bronze-medal performance in Kirishi (Russia) last year. It was not through a lack of effort from the girls but through a lack of execution.

“The good start by the Russians forced us to try to change the pace of the game. Russia had four shots in the first quarter and scored four goals and we had nine and scored one.”

Goalkeeper Victoria Brown was brought into the game towards the end of the first quarter but after that Australia created too many opportunities that it failed to capitalise on, which led to our poor extra-man statistics (four from 11 and a missed penalty shot).

“While it was disappointing to lose we believe that the number of exclusions that we created gives us promise for the World Cup next week in China,” McFadden said.

Skipper Mel Rippon was judged Australia’s best player by the coaches.

The team will now travel to Tianjin, China for a training camp ahead of the eight-team World Cup, which is played every four years.

Australian Water Polo

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