From 26th-31st March national teams from the USA, New Zealand, Japan, China, Kazakhstan, South Africa, Canada, Argentina as well as host nation Australia gathered upon HBF Stadium in Perth, Western Australia to compete for the FINA World League Inter-Continental Cup, a qualification tournament for the prestigious World League later this year.
After a tough competition including some narrow victories both the Australian women’s and men’s team found themselves in the Grand Final against the USA and Japan respectively.
The women won silver after a courageous effort against the world and Olympic champions, the USA, in which the team fought back from a four-goal deficit to force the game to a penalty shootout.
We caught up with Aussie Stinger Bron Knox for her thoughts on the overall tournament.
“It was a great showcase of international water polo on home soil. To have both men and women competing at the same tournament - bringing family, friends, prestigious water polo alumni and aspiring players to the stands day in and day out provided us the platform to both inspire and be inspired.
This event was the second occurrence of international competition this year, having previously hosted test matches against Japan in Brisbane during January. It’s not very often that we have these opportunities to show those closest to us why we love this game and why we continually go back for more.”Perth was in fine form with glorious days, excellent facilities and every game live streamed on OVO Play.
Final Women’s Ranking
The Aussie Sharks defeated Japan 10-8 after beating them in penalties during the round stage of the tournament. We caught up with AJ Roach to hear his thoughts on the tournament and what’s next for the Aussie Sharks.
What was it like playing Japan after the Test Series in January, did they change?
The Japanese had their full strength team at the World League qualifications, while their style didn’t change at all they had more experienced and quality players in the water making the game a lot harder.
What is their style like compared to Europeans?
The Japanese play a very unique style that heavily focuses on counter attack. The Japanese are light and quick in the water compared to the traditionally heavier European teams
What was the preparation for the tournament like?
The preparation was good we had a week training camp that involved us training alone for the first couple of days then playing training games against Canada and Japan
How was the atmosphere of the tournament?
It was great to play at home in Australia and was pleasantly surprised with the crowd who created a great atmosphere to play in front of. Big thanks to everyone who came to the games to support us.
What’s next for the Aussie Sharks
Next for the Sharks is a training camp and overseas tour before playing the World League finals in Belgrade later this year.
Both Bronwen and AJ were both selected into the All-Star Tournament Team!!! What an effort :)
Final Men’s Ranking