Game 6: Sharks FINA World Cup

24.08.2014

A controlled 12-6 victory over host nation Kazakhstan has seen the Australian men’s water polo team, the Aussie Sharks finish fifth overall at the FINA World Cup in Almaty.

The game was the Sharks second match up with the hosts for the tournament, after they had met in the first game, which the Aussies won 11-8.

London Olympian Johnno Cotterill was the top scorer for the Sharks with a four goal haul, while fellow Olympians Aidan Roach and Aaron Younger supported with three goals.

Sharks coach Elvis Fatovic said the team came together well in the latter part of the game.

“Today we came together as a team which showed in our counter attack goals and defence, which especially showed in the last three quarters,” Fatovic said.

Unlike their first meeting for the tournament, where the Aussies leapt out to a strong lead, it was a close start to the game with both sides playing tight defence for the score to be locked at 1-1 at the first break.

Quick hands and decisive attack went to benefit the Aussies in the second quarter as they found a plethora of scoring opportunities to take a 6-3 lead at half time.

It was a similar story in the third term as the Aussies again extended their lead to 10-5, before a further two goals in the final period consolidated the win for the Sharks, and fifth place for the tournament.

Aussie Sharks captain Richie Campbell said they expected a tough game, but was pleased with the team’s determination to claim the win.

“Like the first game against Kazakhstan it was always going to be difficult, and being our last game it was always going to be mentally testing,” Campbell said.

“It was good to see the team focused and dedicated, even though we were playing for fifth and sixth place.

“We played a solid defensive game, although found it hard to execute our opportunities, but all in all a good effort to finish off our international season and the tournament.”

Fatovic finished by saying he was proud of the way the team played throughout the tournament.

“It was important for us to finish our season with a win, firstly to end on a high, secondly to secure our position in the World Championhips and finally to reinforce our reputation of playing hard water polo right until the end,” he said.

“Overall I am proud of everyone and their efforts in training and games.”

Aussie Sharks:

James Clark, Richie Campbell (c), George Ford, Johnno Cotterill, Nathan Power, Jarrod Gilchrist, AJ Roach, Aaron Younger, Lachlan Edwards, Tyler Martin, Mitch Emery, Blake Edwards, James Stanton-French

Result: AUS 12 bt KAZ 6

X Man For: Australia scored 3 from 7 opportunities

X Man Against: Kazakhstan scored 2 from 10 opportunities and 1 from 1 penalties

 

AUS Scorers: J Cotterill 4, A Roach 3, A Younger 3, J Gilchrist, M Emery

Game 5: Aussies dominate South Africa 

A strong 13-2 victory for the Australian men’s water polo team have overcome South Africa on day five of the FINA World Cup in Almaty, Kazakhstan.

Jarrod Gilchrist provided a notable performance, as he put three shots in the back of the net on the Sharks road to victory, one of which was the opening goal of the game.

The Sharks used the game to test differing combinations in the water ahead of their final game against Kazakhstan. Youngsters George Ford and Lachlan Edwards were the beneficiaries of this with robust Aussie offence helping both to join the scorers list.

It was a slightly slow start for the Sharks as they led 4-2 at the first break. They increased the lead to 7-2 come half time, with their defensive effort successfully preventing South Africa from scoring.

The third stanza saw the Aussies jump a further four goals ahead, before a final term haul of three goals ensured the win was beyond doubt.

Australian assistant coach Paul Oberman said today’s game was important ahead of the teams final game tomorrow.

“It was a great opportunity today for us to test the depth of the squad,” Oberman said.

“Plenty of pool time was shared mongst the group with a number of athletes showing they belong in the squad and are ready for more water time in our 5 v 6 game against Kazakhstan tomorrow.

Sharks captain Richie Campbell said the team’s defence was very pleasing in this game.

“We were a bit slow at the start, but pulled together for a solid three quarters,” Campbell said.

“It was a good defensive effort from our side to keep them scoreless for three quarters of the game.”

Australia will next play Kazakhstan in their final game, the playoff for fifth and sixth position. The game will take place at 4.30pm AEST on Sunday August 24.

Aussie Sharks:

James Clark, Richie Campbell (c), George Ford, Johnno Cotterill, Nathan Power, Jarrod Gilchrist, AJ Roach, Aaron Younger, Lachlan Edwards, Tyler Martin, Mitch Emery, Blake Edwards, James Stanton-French

Result: AUS 13 bt RSA 2

Quarters: 4-2, 3-0, 4-0, 2-0

X Man For: Australia scored 4 from 7 opportunities

X Man Against: South Africa scored 0 from 3 opportunities and 0 from 1 penalties

AUS Scorers: J gilchrist 3, J Cotterill 2, G Ford 2, A Roach 2, N Power, L Edwards, T Martin, M Emery

Game 4: Aussie Sharks go down to the USA in penalties

A gripping quarter final has seen the Australian men’s water polo team, the Aussie Sharks, defeated by the USA 11-9 in a penalty shootout at the FINA World Cup in Almaty, Kazakhstan.

Sharks head coach Elvis Fatovic had earmarked the quarter final as the most important game for the Aussies from the outset of the competition, and the Sharks fought hard for victory, only falling at the final hurdle.

It was a slow start to the game for the Aussies who found themselves trailing by two goals early in the first quarter, before rallying hard to fight back to close the gap to 3-2 at the break.

An improved second term saw the Sharks draw equal with the USA, with the difference between the two sides intensity negligible, with the scores locked at 4-4 come half time.

The third stanza saw the USA again regain control of the game thanks to two late goals to be leading 7-5 at the final exchange. Australia had other ideas in the final period, again drawing equal with the USA to send the game to a penalty shoot out.

While Australia had put in the effort to send the game to penalties, they were unable to capitalise with their first two shots. Aaron Younger hit the cross bar, while captain Richie Campbell uncharacteristically sent his shot over the top.

Aidan Roach and Tyler Martin both managed to score, while goalkeeper James Stanton saved one of the USA’s attempts, however it was too little too late for the Sharks.

The Aussies next game will be against South Africa at 5.40pm AEST on Saturday August 23.

Aussie Sharks:

James Clark, Richie Campbell (c), George Ford, Johnno Cotterill, Nathan Power, Jarrod Gilchrist, AJ Roach, Aaron Younger, Lachlan Edwards, Tyler Martin, Mitch Emery, Blake Edwards, James Stanton-French

Result: USA 11 bt AUS 9

Quarters: 3-2, 1-2, 3-1, 1-2 (4-2 penalties)

X Man For: Australia scored 4 from 9 opportunities

X Man Against: USA scored 6 from 15 opportunities

AUS Scorers: J Cotterill 2, T Martin 2, R Campbell, J Gilchrist, A Younger, , B Edwards, A Roach

Game 3: Sharks draw with Hungary

A nail biting game between the Australian men’s water polo team, the Aussie Sharks, and Hungary has taken place on day three of the FINA World Cup in Almaty, Kazakhstan, with the two sides playing out an 8-8 draw.

The Sharks played solid defence against a side with a reputable offensive game, which they were then able to convert into counter attacking opportunities.

The Aussies had looked to the experienced guard of captain Richie Campbell as well as Olympians Aidan Roach, Johnno Cotterill and Aaron Younger to score, as well as Blake Edwards who grabbed his in the third term.

A tough start in the first quarter set precedent for the remainder of the game as both sides managed just two goals each. Cotterill opened the scoring before Younger nailed a penalty shot for the scores to be even at the first break.

By half time he status quo remained, with Campbell and Roach adding their name to the scorers list, alongside Younger, for the scores to remain locked, albeit at 5-5.

The third stanza looked to be the game changer for the Sharks as they fought hard to provide scoring opportunities to Campbell, Younger and Edwards. Solid extra man defence and counter attacks meant the Aussies emerged the first clear leaders, to be ahead 8-6 at the final break.

Consistent with the opening half, the game tightened up in the final quarter, with Hungary fighting hard to peg pack the deficit, while holding the Aussies scoreless bringing the game to a draw at the final whistle.

Australian head coach Elvis Fatovic said the team again bettered their performance, before casting an eye to their next game in the quarter finals.

“Yesterday I said we played better than the day before, and today we played better again,” Fatovic said.

“Today our improved game gave us a good result against one of the best teams in the world.

“Our next game is the most important one of the tournament and we will again be playing a strong team, the USA.”

The Aussie Sharks next face the USA in the quarter finals. The game will be played at 5.40pm AEST, with live streaming available on FINATV. 

Aussie Sharks:

James Clark, Richie Campbell (c), George Ford, Johnno Cotterill, Nathan Power, Jarrod Gilchrist, AJ Roach, Aaron Younger, Lachlan Edwards, Tyler Martin, Mitch Emery, Blake Edwards, James Stanton-French

Result: AUS 8 Drew HUN 8

Quarters: 2-2, 3-3, 3-1, 0-2

X Man For: Australia scored 3 from 5 opportunities and 1 from 1 penalties

X Man Against: Hungary scored 5 from 9 opportunities

AUS Scorers: A Younger 3, R Campbell 2, J Cotterill, A Roach, B Edwards

Game 2: Sharks go down in a tight game against Croatia

Following a win in their opening game, the Aussie Sharks have come up short against European powerhouse Croatia in a 6-3 defeat at the FINA World Cup in Almaty, Kazakhstan.

A solid defensive game kept the scores tight throughout the first half, however the Aussies struggled to convert scoring opportunities in offence, denying themselves an early lead.

London Olympians Aidan Roach and Richie Campbell both scored for Australia, however poor execution in extra man left the Sharks chasing down the Croatians over the second half of the game.

Sharks coach Elvis Fatovic said he thought the Aussies had an improved performance on their opening game against Kazakhstan.

“In my opinion we played better than we did yesterday in all things except for extra man,” Fatovic said.

“We missed too many good chances in the first quarter and became insecure in the last quarter with our shots not looking dangerous.

The quarter finals are the most important game, however we now need to turn our attention to Hungary tomorrow.”

Croatia started on the front foot to be leading 1-0 at the end of the first quarter, holding out the Australian attack to keep the Sharks scoreless.

Australia returned serve in the second term courtesy of a penalty shot to Campbell in the first minute of the second term, however the Aussies could not break away as the score remained 1-1 at the half time break.

The third stanza was the watershed for Croatia, as they outscored the Sharks 3-1. Roach landed his first, and Australia’s only goal, early in the quarter as the Aussies trailed 4-2 at the final exchange.

Roach scored his second for the game half way through the final quarter to bring the Sharks within one goal of the lead.  However Croatia had other ideas, replying twofold to run out three goal victors.

Sharks captain Richie Campbell said he was pleased to slow Croatia’s scoring rate, although noted that the Aussies offence would need to improve.

“I was pleased we were able to limit there scoring in the first half through strong communicated defence,” Campbell said.

 “However our set and especially extra man attack was our weakness. We created numerous opportunities but were unable to execute.”

The Sharks next game will be against strong European nation Hungary. The game will be played at 7pm AEST with live streaming available on FINATV.

Aussie Sharks:

James Clark, Richie Campbell (c), George Ford, Johnno Cotterill, Nathan Power, Jarrod Gilchrist, AJ Roach, Aaron Younger, Lachlan Edwards, Tyler Martin, Mitch Emery, Blake Edwards, James Stanton-French

Result: CRO 6 bt AUS 3                                                                     

Quarters: 1-0, 0-1, 3-1, 2-1

X Man For: Australia scored 1 from 10 opportunities and 1 from 1 penalties

X Man Against: Croatia scored 3 from 9 opportunities

AUS Scorers: A Roach 2, R Campbell 

Game One: Sharks edge out host nation Kazakhstan

Standout performances from captain Richie Campbell and Aaron Younger have helped the Australian men’s water polo team, the Aussie Sharks, begin their FINA World Cup campaign with an 11-8 win over host nation Kazakhstan in Almaty.

Campbell was the first man to strike for the Aussies as he put away three goals for the game, while Younger put in a strong second half to score four goals, the final two of those the game breakers for the Sharks.

The opening quarter was a strong period of play for the Aussies who led 3-1 at the first break with Campbell, George Ford and Olympian Aidan Roach all sending rockets to the back of the cage.

With momentum on their side, the Sharks began the second term on the front foot with a goal from Campbell, before giving away a crucial penalty that opened the door for Kazakhstan to be within striking distance.

With a slender 4-3 advantage at the beginning of the third period, the Aussies put away two quick goals, courtesy of Lachlan Edwards and Younger in the first minute.

Kazakhstan responded with four goals, while Younger scored his second, and Jarrod Gilchrist his first, to see the one goal gap restored 8-7 in the Sharks favour.

Kazakhstan equalised early in the fourth quarter, before Younger stepped up to score a double and regain the lead, while a further goal from Campbell combined with solid defence handed the Sharks victory.

Australian head coach Elvis Fatovic said it was an important win after a long break from competition for the Sharks.

“We expected to have a tough game after a two month break since our last game,” Fatovic said.

“We need to improve areas of our defence, however to win the first game of the competition is important, and it was a difficult win today against the home nation who had a supportive crowd behind them.”

The Sharks will now take on European powerhouse Croatia in their second game, with the swim off set for 8.20pm AEST on Wednesday August 20.

Live streaming of the game will be available on FINA TV.

Aussie Sharks:

James Clark, Richie Campbell (c), George Ford, Johnno Cotterill, Nathan Power, Jarrod Gilchrist, AJ Roach, Aaron Younger, Lachlan Edwards, Tyler Martin, Mitch Emery, Blake Edwards, James Stanton-French

Result: AUS 11 bt KAZ 8

Quarters: 3-1, 1-2, 4-4, 3-1

X Man For: Australia scored 3 from 6 opportunities

X Man Against: Kazakhstan scored 3 from 6 opportunities and 1 from 1 penalties

AUS Scorers:  A Younger 4, R Campbell 3, G Ford, A Roach, J Gilchrist, L Edwards

Preview

The depth of talent in the Aussie Sharks will be on display at the 2014 FINA World Cup, with a team of experience and youth selected to take on the tournament from Tuesday August 19 in Almaty, Kazakhstan.

Following on from their fourth place finish at the 2014 FINA World League Super Final, the Sharks returned to Australia for a training camp at the Australian Institute of Sport, before recently returning to Montenegro for their final World Cup preparations.

Preparations have included a training game against Montenegro, which is ironically the team that beat the Sharks to the bronze medal at the World League finals.

Australian coach Elvis Fatovic said the opportunity to train in Montenegro was a huge benefit to the Sharks team.

“It’s good to train in one of the best water polo environments, and to have a training game against Montenegro,” Fatovic said.

With the final 13 players for the Aussie Sharks announced, the line up includes the addition of goalkeeper James Stanton and field player Blake Edwards, as well as the return of the internationally experienced Aidan Roach and Johnno Cotterill.

Both Stanton and Edwards have earned their spots after strong showings in the National League, where both men play for the Victorian Seals, as well as putting in impressive performances at pre World Cup training camps.

The team will again call on the experience of London Olympians Roach and Cotterill, with the former an asset courtesy of his experience playing professionally in Hungary.

Cotterill will be influential as a shooter on the right hand side, and along with captain Richie Campbell, will spearhead Australia’s attacking efforts.

Also in the side is Lachlan Edwards, who will be instrumental at centre forward where he is unquestionably talented.

Despite his relative inexperience, the strength and swimming ability of the 19 year old makes him one of the most dangerous players in the pool.

Fatovic said that irrespective of the lack of game preparation since the World League, the teams fitness has improved, which he hopes will place them in good standing to perform in the playoffs.

“We played our last official game two months ago,” he said.

“We have worked on our fitness and improved each segment of our game, and I am very satisfied with the work put in.

We are looking forward to our next game, however we are aware that the quarter final will be the most important game of the tournament.

Australia will play in Group B in the preliminary rounds, which alongside Kazakhstan, also includes European heavyweights Croatia and Hungary.

Aussie Sharks:

GK’s: James Stanton (VIS), James Clark (NSW)

Field Players: Aaron Younger (WA), Richie Campbell (NSW), Nathan Power (NSW), George Ford (WA), Mitch Emery (NSWIS), Tyler Martin (NSW), Johnno Cotterill (NSW), Jarrod Gilchrist (NSWIS), Blake Edwards (VIS), Lachlan Edwards (VIS), Aidan Roach (NSW)