Gold for Aussie Stingers at FINA World League Intercontinental Cup

Posted on March 14, 2022 by

Australia’s women’s and men’s teams have both secured podium finishes at the FINA World League Intercontinental Cup (WLICC) in Peru, with the Aussie Stingers taking home the gold medal and the Aussie Sharks the silver.

It was the first international tournament for both sides since the Tokyo Olympic Games, with young, new players making their Australian team debut and both sides headed up by new coaches in Paul Oberman (Aussie Stingers) and Tim Hamill (Aussie Sharks).

The Aussie Stingers delivered an impressive tournament overall, going undefeated and finishing off an impressive 11-four win over the USA.

Aussie Stingers Head Coach Paul Oberman said he was pleased with how his side delivered in the final match.  Despite the USA not fielding a full-strength, young side, he said they are always the toughest of opponents.

“Today’s game was a fantastic result for our girls. To win 11-4 against the Americans, shows we put in the work and were able to get the result,” said Oberman.

“For a young team (USA) they were very fast, they have some very good shooters and they understand the game of water polo… it shows why the American pipeline [of talent] is so strong.

“Overall the tournament was a great learning for our girls. For some, they haven’t been in an international competition for three or four years.

“A great experience to get out of Australia, experience to play other countries, which we haven’t had the opportunity to do in recent years,” he said.

Dual Olympian and Captain of the Aussie Stingers, Zoe Arancini, said the new-look Aussie Stingers really delivered at this tournament.

“We have had multiple debutants come on board so it has been great for them, it’s been great for the senior girls to get back into the mix of it all, it’s been nice to have the European [based] girls over here with the girls from Australia,” said Zoe.

“It’s given us the chance to gel a bit before our next big hit out which is the world championships, so overall a great learning experience for everyone and we also showed we could perform.

“Today was a good game by our girls, our defence was very strong. The USA had quite a young team so we knew they were going to be quite enthusiastic and come out hard, but we had a plan in place… defence was going to win us the game and it did,” she said.

In the gold medal match, the Aussie Stingers led from the outset, never relinquishing their lead despite a comeback from the USA in the second and third quarters. It was the final quarter that saw the Aussies Stingers really power home, scoring five goals and only allowing one from the USA.

Tokyo Olympian Bronte Halligan was awarded ‘Most Valuable Player of the Tournament’.

The men’s gold medal match against the USA was a tighter contest, and despite a strong comeback from the Aussies in the last quarter, they went down 6-7.

Both the Aussie Sharks and Aussie Stingers players will now return to Australia to their domestic Clubs as part of the Australian Waterpolo League.  The next major tournament for the Aussie teams will be the FINA World Championships to be held in Hungary from 18 June – 3 July 2022.

 

By Caitlin Glanville, NSW Institute of Sport

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