Barracudas bite back with Saturday night wins over Torpedoes

THE UWA Torpedoes weren’t quite able to back up Thursday’s double over the Brisbane Barracudas with the visitors returning to claim two National Water Polo League wins on Saturday night.

Thursday was a terrific night for the Torpedoes and likely the highlight double of the season for UWA with both the women’s and men’s teams scoring impressive victories over talented and finals contending Barracudas teams.

Then on Friday night, Brisbane headed to Bicton Pool with the Fremantle Marlins beating the Barracudas 12-10. Meanwhile the Barracudas men beat the Fremantle Mariners 12-10.

Big night for Torpedoes with two wins over Barracudas 

The Barracudas women returned to UWA Aquatic Centre on Saturday night needing to win to retain any hope whatsoever of playing finals.

With the Torpedoes also missing Victoria Brown and Alex Hughes, they couldn’t quite replicate Thursday’s victory with the Barracudas winning 8-6.

Brisbane’s men also returned to UWA looking for revenge and needing to win to stay inside the top six. The Torpedoes were celebrating the 300th National Water Polo League game of Brett McGhie, but ultimately the Barracudas prevailed 7-4.

The weekend’s results leave the defending champion Torpedoes in fourth position with a 14-7 record heading into next Friday’s derby with the Fremantle Mariners who are now out of the finals hunt.

The Barracudas, meanwhile, sit fifth with a 13-7 record.

The Saturday night action got underway with the women’s contest and with the Torpedoes coming off the high of Thursday night’s win and with some of the girls having played in the Premier League semi-final win earlier in the afternoon to qualify for next Saturday’s grand final.

Like Thursday night, the Barracudas scored the game’s opening two goals this time thanks to Kate Gynter and Jess Emerson.

But also like two nights earlier, the Torpedoes responded firstly just before quarter-time through captain Cathryn Earl.

Then three minutes into the second period, a terrific pass from Earl set up Kingsley Hill in close and she was good enough to score to tie scores up at 2-2.

UWA then went ahead with Earl continuing her purple patch. Madi Rigo earned the penalty when infringed upon on the breakaway only for Earl to take it from the spot and score.

The Barracudas, though, responded before half-time thanks to Elodie Ruffin to leave scores 3-3 at the break as the girls from St Hilda’s enjoyed some time in the UWA pool.

The first three goals of the third quarter to the Barracudas to Gynter and then two to Bronte Colenso saw the visitors lead 6-3. UWA got one back through Rigo but Brisbane had the answers with the next two either side of three quarter-time to Chloe Woodbine and Colenso.

UWA still managed two more goals and never gave up with Dayna O’Leary and Rigo finding the net, but the Barracudas held on to win 8-6.

Earl and Rigo both scored twice for the Torpedoes. Colenso scored three goals for the Barracudas and Gynter two.

Then in the men’s contest, the Torpedoes were looking to continue the momentum from Thursday night but the Barracudas too had returned to the UWA pool on a mission.

It took until there was just 40 seconds remaining in the first quarter for the first goal and that went the way of Brisbane through Mason Fettell from close range.

The Barracudas then led 2-0 a couple of minutes into the second period when Callum Smith scored for the visitors.

The Torpedoes did finally get on the board three minutes out from half-time on a big shot from Andrew Ford. The Barracudas still led 2-1 at the half.

Again the Barracudas started the third quarter well with cleverly worked goal scored in the end by Hugh Anstey.

The Torpedoes weren’t going away, though, and two goals in less than a minute firstly to Tom Beare from a tight angle and then to 300-gamer McGhie saw the home team draw level with the scores 3-3.

But the Barracudas responded just before three quarter-time with a good shot from left-hander Will Armstrong.

The Torpedoes again drew level three minutes into the fourth term with another big shot from Ford.

However, UWA couldn’t build any moment from that and Brisbane went on to score the game’s last three goals in the final five minutes to finish up 7-4 winners. That included a wonder shot from Rhys Howden who caught the ball and spun and shot backhanded all in the one motion to score.

Ford scored two of the four goals for Torpedoes while Anstey scored two of the seven for the Barracudas.

ROUND 11 NWPL RESULTS
THURSDAY
WOMEN: UWA Torpedoes 10 defeated Brisbane Barracudas 6 at UWA Aquatic Centre
MEN: UWA Torpedoes 9 defeated Brisbane Barracudas 6 at UWA Aquatic Centre

SATURDAY
WOMEN: UWA Torpedoes 6 lost to Brisbane Barracudas 8 at UWA Aquatic Centre
MEN: UWA Torpedoes 4 lost to Brisbane Barracudas 7 at UWA Aquatic Centre