Sharks seventh with demolition of Brazil
18 June 2012
The Australian men’s water polo team has returned to form in stunning fashion at the FINA World League Super Finals in Almaty, Kazakhstan by crushing Brazil 13-2 in their playoff for seventh place.
The victory over the South Americans for the second time in the tournament gives the Aussie Sharks some valuable confidence in the lead in to the London Olympics after losing tight matches to Croatia, Spain, the USA and Kazakhstan earlier in the week.
While they piled on the goals, most pleasing for Australia was their strong defence that held the Brazilians scoreless for almost two thirds of the match.
The Australians got off to a flying start for the first time in the tournament and led 2-0 at quarter time including a rocket from eight metres out by Billy Miller and a 5m penalty to Johnno Cotterill.
In the second period the Sharks remained rock solid in defence while scoring three goals courtesy of Cotterill, Thomas Whalan and Richie Campbell to lead by 5-0 at the main break.
Whalan, Miller, Cotterill and Anthony Martin all scored in the first four minutes of the third term before Brazil first troubled the scorer. When Martin got his second and Tim Cleland his first Australia had an 11-1 lead at the final break.
Emerging star Aaron Younger got his first goal of the tournament in the fourth and triple Olympian Gavin Woods scored from centre forward to round out the Australians’ scoring at 13 goals before the Brazilians got a late consolation strike.
Australia’s head coach John Fox was pleased with the effort of his troops and looking ahead positively to London.
“It was by far our most consistent effort in the tournament,” Fox said.
“The improvement was based on a good defensive structure and better implementation of the game plan.
“We have some work to do before London but we are still focussed on our objectives there.”
The 13-man Australian side for London will be selected in the coming days and announced at the end of the week.
The Sharks will now head to Greece for a weeklong training camp prior to an eight-country tournament in Italy the following week. The team will then return home for final preparations in Sydney before travelling to London.
Water Polo Australia