Big night for Torpedoes with two wins over Barracudas

IT was likely the best night of the National Water Polo League season on Thursday for the UWA Torpedoes with the women and men scoring impressive victories over the Brisbane Barracudas.

Both Brisbane teams remained in the hunt for the NWPL finals as well as they arrived at UWA Aquatic Centre on Thursday night.

The Barracudas women then scored the first two goals and the Torpedoes had to find something. But they did and put together what is likely the best of their six wins now for the season to end up winning 10-6.

It was then time for the defending champion Torpedoes men to hit the pool looking to make up for the two tough losses to the UNSW Wests Magpies a week earlier.

It wasn’t easy but UWA stayed strong and ended up prevailing with the 9-6 victory to remain near the top of the table with two games remaining before finals.
The women’s clash started in ominous fashion for the Torpedoes with the Barracudas scoring the first two goals in less than two minutes courtesy of Bronte Colenso and Kate Gynter.

However, the Torpedoes did well to steady from there and got a goal back before quarter-time thanks to Madi Rigo.

UWA then started the second period impressively with a terrific pass from Dayna O’Leary setting up Kingsley Hill to score and level the scores up at 2-2.

Hill continued her good work close to goal and earned a penalty for the Torpedoes just 30 seconds later. Victoria Brown scored it and UWA led 3-2 before Brisbane responded through Zoe Balmanno.

Riley Davidson then scored the first goal of her national league career with the Torpedoes putting one in with her left-hand from a tight angle, but scores were level at half-time after another Brisbane goal from Elodie Ruffin.

The Torpedoes pulled ahead again to open the second half thanks to captain Cathryn Earl on the back of a good set up pass from Rigo. Once more, though, the Barracudas responded thanks to Jess Emerson.

It was Davidson’s turn to step up once more for UWA with two minutes left in the third quarter as her left-hand delivered another goal. When Brown added another in stunning fashion just on three quarter-time, the Torpedoes lead 7-5.

With time expiring, Brown threw in a prayer from three quarters of the pool out and it lobbed over the Barracudas goalkeeper to score in the most unlikely fashion.

The Torpedoes kept it going from starting with Rigo scoring her second goal. The score was then 9-5 when Earl added her second and it finished at 10-6 with O’Leary hitting the final goal of the contest.

Davidson, Earl, Rigo and Brown all scored two goals apiece for the Torpedoes. Gynter scored two for the Barracudas.

Then in the men’s contest, it was a tight opening period with just the one goal scored and that went to the Barracudas thanks to Hugh Anstey.

The Torpedoes finally got on the board with 5:30 left in the second quarter when Florian Naroska earned the penalty, and captain Nick Hughes converted it. The Torpedoes then took a 2-1 lead with a good in-close goal by Lach Pethick.

It was then 3-1 at half-time after a goal to Hughes with the extra man with just 12 seconds left on the clock.

UWA’s advantage grew to 4-1 early in the second half when Brett McGhie scored. The Barracudas answered with two quick goals to Billy Miller, but the Torpedoes had the answers and got one back thanks to Hughes.

When Tom Powell scored just before three quarter-time, UWA held the 6-4 advantage. Brisbane wouldn’t go away and got one back to start the last term thanks to Miller.

But McGhie answered catching the Barracudas unawares taking a shot when they weren’t expecting it. That put the Torpedoes up 7-5, then Powell’s second made it 8-5 and UWA went on to win 9-6 after Hughes added his fourth of the night with a minute remaining.

Hughes finished up with four goals for the game for the Torpedoes with Powell and McGhie scoring twice each. Miller scored three goals for the Barracudas and Anstey two.

The Torpedoes now again host the Barracudas this Saturday night back at UWA Aquatic Centre ahead of next Friday night’s derby with the Fremantle Marlins and Mariners.

WOMEN: UWA Torpedoes 10 defeated Brisbane Barracudas 6 at UWA Aquatic Centre
MEN: UWA Torpedoes 9 defeated Brisbane Barracudas 6 at UWA Aquatic Centre