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Water Polo Women, Day 1: AUS 15 NZL 4
World No 3 Australia had the better of trans-Tasman rival New Zealand but the start was scratchy by the more dominant Aussie Stingers. Australia found faith in the first four minutes of the second quarter to slip out to 6-1, but the Kiwis kept them honest with two goals to close the half at 7-3.
New Zealand goalkeeper Brooke Millar proved a worthy opponent, stopping some excellent Australian shots and keeping her team close. Australia played closer to head coach Greg McFadden’s expectations with a shutout period that left New Zealand barren for 15 minutes in the second half.
The third period was clinical and, at 12-3, Kelly Mason thought it was time for Kiwi scoring to lift with a bouncer from seven metres. Lincoln-Smith scored her third for 13-4 and earned an ejection on the next attack for Australia to use a second timeout and score through Webster for her fourth.
Australia was not finished and scored with two seconds remaining, Zoe Arancini netting from the deep left for an 11-goal margin that was better than the five and eight-goal margins in this year’s World League Asia-Oceania round in Auckland, New Zealand.
Match 3: 10:50, Group B, AUSTRALIA 15 NEW ZEALAND 4
Quarters: 3-1, 4-2, 4-0, 4-1
Referees: Gabor Vogel (HUN), Joao Cardenuto (BRA)
Extra Man: AUS: 3/4. NZL: 2/4
Pens: AUS: 1/1
AUSTRALIA: Lea Barta, Jayde Appel (1), Hannah Buckling (1), Holly Lincoln-Smith (3), Isobel Bishop, Bronwen Knox, Rowena Webster (4), Glencora McGhie, Zoe Arancini (2), Ashleigh Southern (2), Keesja Gofers (1), Nicola Zagame (1), Kelsey Wakefield. Head Coach: Greg McFadden.
NEW ZEALAND: Brooke Millar, Emily Cox (1), Kelly Mason (2), Nicole Lewis, Alexandra Boyd, Lynlee Smith, Sarah Landry, Danielle Lewis, Lauren Sieprath, Casie Bowry (1), Kirsten Hudson, Alexandra Myles, Ianetta Hutchinson. Head Coach: Attila Biro.
Glencora McGhie (AUS):
“It was a great start for us to the tournament. We were nervous before the start. We were playing our game, very focused on our defence. It was crucial to rotate today. The next game against China will be very tough. It is exciting to play in this outdoor pool. It’s a beautiful day and a great start for us.”
Greg McFadden (AUS Head Coach):
“We had a good start, but we didn´t have patience at some points of the game.
This venue is fantastic. We were here in 1992.”
Lauren Sieprath (NZL):
“I found the match very tough. Australia is a good team. I don´t think we are going to win the competition.”
Alexandra Myles (NZL):
“The first match is always the toughest . The Australians are very physical players. We will be improving during the tournament.”
Casie Bowry (NZL):
“We need to improve our shooting and leadership for the upcoming games.”