WPWL 2011: Second-quarter blitz seals top spot in Asia-Oceania for Aussie Stingers women

World League

Sydney (May 19). With the qualifying over, all eyes are now on the FINA World League Super Finals next month. The final qualification matches were played at Sydney Olympic Park Aquatic Centre tonight with the big issue who was going to top the women's group of the Asia-Oceania zone.

A blistering 6-2 second quarter by the world No 2 Aussie Stingers proved devastating for the No 3 China with the Aussies finishing 9-7 ahead. Both teams went into the match equal on points and a 2-2 opening quarter was what was expected. However, the game secretary was kept busy as the Aussies shook off China at 3-3, swapped goals and then rattled in three unanswered goals in two minutes to close the half at 8-4. The dour, physical second half went China's way, keeping Australia scoreless in the final 2-0 quarter.

Stingers captain Bronwen KNOX and China's MA Huanhuan scored three goals each in a night for centre forwards. Australia's Holly LINCOLN-SMITH also scored twice from two metres. The win was gained as China had the better of the foul count, managing to convert five from seven on extra, plus a penalty goal compared to Australian none from two attempts — testament to Australia's shutdown ability on six on six.

New Zealand collected its first win with a nine-goal turnaround against Japan from the first leg in Auckland the previous week. The Kiwis won the first quarter 3-1 but trailed 5-4 at halftime and 6-5 at the final break. The leveller came at the top of the fourth and the winner with just under five minutes remaining, courtesy of Ashley SMALLFIELD with her second.

The Aussie Sharks men beat China 9-5 thanks to a 4-1 second half. Pan NING brought China to 6-5 at 6:21 in the third but the Sharks closed shop and kept the Chinese scoreless for more than 14 minutes.

Japan, still smarting from the loss to China the night before and missing the Super Final, thrashed New Zealand 20-5 with a 9-2 closing quarter in which Koji TAKEI scored four of his five goals. New Zealand had no answer for the faster Japanese who improved on their 17-3 effort of the week before.

Now it is up to the Australians and Chinese to represent Asia-Oceania at the Super Finals next month.

Match reports

Quarters: 4-1, 2-0, 5-2, 9-2

JAPAN: Katsuyuki TANAMURA, Kan AOYAGI (2), Koji TAKEI (5), Shota HAZUI, Mitsuaki SHIGA (1), Akira YANASE (1), Yusuke SHIMIZU (3), Atsushi NAGANUMA (1), Kan IREI (1), Yoshinori SHIOTA (2), Keigo OKAWA (3), Satoshi NAGATA (1), Naoki SHIMIZU. Head Coach: Hideki TAKAGI.

NEW ZEALAND: Scott GRAHAM, Hunter De GROOT (1), Scott TAYLOR, James DAVIDSON, Alex MacKENZIE (2), Conor LUI, Dan JACKSON (1), Matt REID, Eamon LUI, Scott GRIFFITHS, Lachie TIJSEN (1), Jamie CAMERON. Head Coach: Kurt GOLDSWORTHY.

GAME 10:
Quarters: 4-3, 1-1, 3-1, 1-0

AUSTRALIA: Carl ZVEKAN, Richie CAMPBELL (2), Trent FRANKLIN, Stephen CODY, Chris DYSON, Aiden ROACH (2), Mitchell EMERY, Mitchell BAIRD (2), Thomas WHALAN (1), Gavin WOODS, Rhys HOWDEN (2), Billy MILLER, Tyler MARTIN. Head Coach: John FOX.

CHINA: GE Weiqing, TAN Feihu, LIANG Zhongxing (1), YU Lijun, GUO Junliang (1), PAN Ning (1), LI Bin, WANG Yang, XIE Junmin (1), LI Li, LIANG Nianxiang, DONG Tianyi, ZHANG Chufeng (1). Head Coach: CAI Tianxiong.

Quarters: 3-1, 1-4, 1-1, 2-0

NEW ZEALAND: Gabrielle CROTHALL, Emily COX, Kelly MASON (2), Danielle LEWIS, Amy LOGAN, Nicole LEWIS, Ashley SMALLFIELD (2), Alex BOYD, Johanna THEELEN, Casie BOWRY, Kirsten HUDSON (2), Jasmine MYLES (1), Brooke MILLAR. Head Coach: Eelco URI.

JAPAN: Rikako MIURA, Yumi NAKANO (1), Saki OGAWA, Shino MAGARIYAMA, Moe NAKATA (1), Yuki OKAMURA (2), Sayaka OKAWARA, Misa KONAKA, Riri KURAMOCHI, Chie YASUMOTO (1), Mari TAKESHIGE, Nao YOSHIDA (1), Yumi KANNO. Head Coach: Hidenori FUJIWARA.

Quarters: 2-2, 6-2, 1-1, 0-2

AUSTRALIA: Victoria BROWN, Holly LINCOLN-SMITH (2), Sophie SMITH (2), Rebecca RIPPON, Jane MORAN, Bronwen KNOX (3), Rowena WEBSTER (1), Patrice O'NEILL, Keesja GOFERS, Melissa RIPPON, Nicola ZAGAME (1), Lea BARTA. Head Coach: Greg McFADDEN.

CHINA: YANG Jun, TENG Fei , LIU Ping (1), SUN Yujun (1), HE Jin, SUN Yating (2), SONG Donglun, ZHANG Lei, WANG Yi, MA Huanhuan (3), SUN Huizi, CHEN Yuan, WANG Ying. Head Coach: Juan JANE GIRALT.