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Australian Waterpolo-Stingers take unassailable lead in Test series in Perth
Perth (February 21) - Australia-Italy Test Series 2011
Game 4 – Australia-13 defeated Italy-9 (3-2, 3-2, 4-3, 3-2)
The Australian Stingers took an unbeatable lead in the 5 test series against Italy today with a 13-9 victory today at Bicton pool. This was their 3rd win of the series while the 2nd game resulted in a draw.
The team started well today scoring the 1st 2 goals before some sloppy defence allowed the Italians to grab the next 2 with uncontested shots. From their the Australians could not fully shake the under strength Italian team who only had 10 players due to 4 of them having to fly back home with European Cup commitments.
After leading 6-4 at halftime the Italians drew level at 7-7 early in the 3rd before the Australians started to play like they did the previous evening. Working on the same systems that provided the outstanding result we took control of the game and scored the next 6 goals before the Italians grabbed 2 late consolation goals.
Australia also only played a majority of the game with 11 players due to Gemma Beadsworth, Glencora Ralph and Zoe Arancini being used very sparingly due to playing their National League game only 2 hours prior.
“Today’s performance was not of the same standard as the previous evening, however we did play some entertaining water polo in glimpses. I hope it proved to the players that when we stick to the game plan and communicate that we can produce some great water polo.
“While the Italians were under strength, we also tried not to overplay the Fremantle girls due to their heavy workload the past 2 weeks of a 6 day road trip, the training camp/test series with the Italians and their commitments with the National League over the weekend.
“The test series has been very beneficial for both teams and has been played in a good spirit which we have been appreciative of Fabio and his team.”
Scorers - A. Southern 3, K. Gynther 3, J. Moran 2, N. Zagame 2, P. O’Neill, N. Stolz 1, H. Lincoln Smith 1.
Goalkeeper – K. Wakefield - 10 saves (played 1st 3 quarters) A. McCormack - 3 saves (played last quarter)
X-man “A” - AUS 3 from 6
ITA 3 from 9
Penalties – AUS 3 from 3
ITA 1 from 1
Best Players – K. Gynther, H. Lincoln Smith, M. Rippon, K. Wakefield
Bronwen Knox was rested for this game.
5th Test is Tuesday 22nd February at 7.45pm Claremont pool.
Australia-Italy Test Series 2011
Game 3 – Australia-16 defeated Italy-7 (3-3, 5-1, 4-3, 4-0)
The Australian Stingers bounced back from their average performance on Thursday night to record a convincing 16-7 victory over Italy in the 3rd test at UWA on Saturday evening to take a 2-0 series lead.
After an even 1st quarter the Australians stamped their authority in the 2nd quarter with a 5-1 score line. This was laid on through a very solid set defence, which provided the platform for the Australians to capitalise on their counter attack play.
The 2nd half saw Australia take control of the game and never allowed the Italians to get closer then 4 goals and closed out the game with a 4-0 4th quarte
“A very pleasing performance tonight with nearly all players contributing. The 2nd quarter saw us put into place what we had practised and talked about at training in the morning” said coach McFadden.
“Our defence nullified the threat of their centre forwards and this was shown with a very much reduced exclusion count, 8 in all and 2 penalties. Through our defence our confidence grew in offence which was capitalised on by our speed, movement and patience.
“Tonight’s effort was an outstanding team performance. Communication played a huge part in providing the platform of our strong defence and was instrumental in us being able to break up the well drilled Italian defence.
“We proved tonight that we are a world class side and the challenge is for us to keep producing performances like this more consistently”.
Scorers – P. O’Neill 3, N. Zagame 2, G. Ralph 2, G. Beadsworth 2, Z. Arancini 2, J. Moran 1, R. Rippon 1, A. Southern 1, K. Gynther 1, M. Rippon
Goalkeeper – A. McCormack – 7 saves (played 1st 3 quarters) K. Wakefield - 5 saves (played 4th quarter)
X-man “A” - AUS 5 from 8
ITA 4 from 8
Penalties – AUS 1 from 1
ITA 1 from 2
Best Players – Nearly everyone
Bronwen Knox was rested for this game.
Perth (February 19)
Game 2 – Australia-11 drew Italy-11 (3-2, 3-6, 4-2, 1-1)
The Australian Stingers got out of jail tonight with a draw against the Italians in the 2nd test match of a 5 game test series against Italy tonight at the Claremont Pool.
After another good start in which they looked like things were going along comfortably with a 4-2 lead early in the 2nd quarter, the team produced close to their worst ¼ of water polo ever to allow the Italians to win the quarter 3-6 and lead 8-6 at halftime.
While the team’s defence improved in the 2nd half to allow only 3 goals, they did not show any composure and failed to captalise on numerous scoring opportunities through poor execution and decision-making.
The Italians would have won the game if they had converted from the penalty line missing all 3 attempts (1 fumble) and 2 saves from Australia’s best player Kelsey Wakefield.
Australia was in foul trouble early with Gemma Beadsworth & Nicola Zagame attracting 2 exclusions each in the 1st quarter and Beadsworth fouling out early in the 3rd followed by Ralph and Southern both in the 4th.
This left Holly Lincoln Smith to have spend a majority of time at her unaccustomed position as centre back which she did very well.
“A very disappointing result tonight in front of a good crowd. We did not play anywhere near our potential and were very lucky to come away with a draw” said coach McFadden.
“We let ourselves down time and time again and I feel sorry that we could not put on a better performance for the crowd. Anytime you allow 6 goals in 1 quarter of water polo which also included a missed penalty you have to question the players commitment to defence”.
“In the 2nd half we had every opportunity to escape with a win but once again our X-man conversion let us down by converting only 2 from 10. Add to this missing a couple of swim always and counter attacks, plus an open goal.”
“The Italians out enthused us, out thought us and were the better team tonight, so coming away with a draw was extremely lucky”.
Scorers – J. Moran 3, N. Zagame 1, G. Ralph 1, G. Beadsworth 1, Z. Arancini 1, P. O’Neill 1, R. Rippon 1, A. Southern 1, K. Gofers 1.
Goalkeeper – K. Wakefield - 9 saves (played 1st, 3rd & 4th quarters) L. Barta - 2 saves (played 2nd ¼)
X-man “A” - Aus 5 from 15
Ita 6 from 11
Penalties – Aus 0 from 0
Ita 0 from 3
Best Players – K. Wakefield, H. Lincoln Smith, A. Southern
Alicia McCormack & Bronwen Knox were rested for this game. Kate Gynther will arrive tomorrow.
3rd Test is Saturday 21st February at 6.30pm UWA pool.
Perth (February 17)
Australia-Italy Test Series 2011
Game 1 – Australia-13 d Italy-10 (4-2, 7-4, 11-7)
The Australian Stingers won the first of a 5 game test series against Italy tonight at the Bicton Pool.
After a good start the team displayed a lot of inconsistent water polo and their play ran hot and cold in both offence and defence. Hopefully this can be attributed to this being the first game for the team since the Canada Cup in December 2010.
Gemma Beadsworth, in her first game as captain was a standout and was well supported by Lea Barta, Nicola Zagame, Melissa Rippon & Zoe Arancini.
“The most pleasing part of the game was that we kept the very dangerous Italian centre forward, Casanova, scoreless for the game” coach McFadden.
“The disappointing thing was our X-man conversion, only 2 from 9.”
“But more disturbing was the lack of communication which allowed some easy goals and resulted in numerous exclusions against us. Most players are not wanting to take responsibility in the water, which results in the above”.
Scorers – N. Zagame 4, G. Ralph 3, G. Beadsworth, Z. Arancini 2, H. Lincoln-Smith, M. Rippon 1
Goalkeeper – L. Barta - 6 saves (played first ¾’s) A. McCormack - 1 save (played last quarter)
X-man “A” - Aus 2 from 9
Ita 5 from 13
Penalties – Aus 2 from 3
Ita 1 from 1
Best Players – G. Beadsworth, L. Barta, Z. Arncicni, N. Zagame, M. Rippon
Rebecca Rippon & Kelsey Wakefield were rested for this game. Kate Gynther will arrive later in the week.
2nd Test is Thursday 19th February at 7.45pm Claremont pool.
Sydney (February 7) - The following players have been selected to represent Australia in the 5 test series in Perth from 14th to 22nd February.
Lea Barta (UNSW), Alicia McCormack (Cronulla Sharks), Kelsey Wakefield (Brisbane Barracudas).
Zoe Arancini (Fremantle Marlins), Gemma Beadsworth (Fremantle Marlins), Keesja Gofers (Sydney Uni Lions), Kate Gynther (Brisbane Barracudas), Bronwen Knox (KFC Breakers), Holly Lincoln-Smith (Cronulla Sharks), Jane Moran (Brisbane Barracudas), Patrice O'Neill (Cronulla Sharks), Glencora Ralph (Fremantle Marlins), Melissa Rippon (Brisbane Barracudas), Rebecca Rippon (Cronulla Sharks), Ashleigh Southern (Brisbane Barracudas), Nanda Stolz (Brisbane Barracudas), Nicola Zagame (Cronulla Sharks).
The 5 tests will be played on Tuesday 15th 8.30pm at Bicton, Thursday 17th 7.45pm at Claremont pool, Saturday 19th TBA at UWA pool, Sunday 20th at 1.00pm Bicton & Tuesday 22nd 7.45pm at Claremont pool.