Critical double-header for Torpedoes against Barracudas

THE UWA Torpedoes host their final double-header of the 2017 National Water Polo League season starting Thursday night when the Brisbane Barracudas come to town.

It is the penultimate round of the 2017 NWPL season with the Torpedoes women and men’s teams to host the Barracudas at UWA Aquatic Centre on Thursday and Saturday nights.

Thursday’s action begins with the women’s game at 7pm and the men’s at 8.30pm. Then on Saturday night, the women open proceedings at 6.30pm and the men follow at 8pm.

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With the Barracudas featuring Australian men’s captain and triple Olympian Rhys Howden along with fellow Olympians Billy Miller, Kelsey Wakefield, Kate Gynther and Ashleigh Southern, they arrive with quite the star-studded line-ups.

Things are getting to critical point for the defending champion Torpedoes men following the two losses at home to the UNSW Wests Magpies last weekend.

They now enter the weekend against the Barracudas sitting in fourth position in the standings with a 13-6 record.

However, they do need some wins over the last three games of the season starting this weekend against Brisbane and then Friday night against the Fremantle Mariners.

Currently the Torpedoes are only one loss ahead of the fifth placed Drummoyne Devils and two wins in front of the Mariners.

Two wins this weekend over the Barracudas and the Torpedoes guarantee their place near the top of the standings and are out of reach of Fremantle heading into next week’s derby at UWA.

However, one or two losses this weekend against Brisbane and things become decidedly interesting especially if the Mariners go well in their games against the same opponent on Friday night and Sunday.

Meanwhile, it’s a big week for the Barracudas as well who remain in the hunt. They come to Perth with a 10-6 record on the season and taking some wins with them back home will have them still in the finals hunt.

That means they will be throwing everything at the Torpedoes and with both teams desperate to win, it’s going to be quite the spectacle well worth checking out at UWA this Thursday and Saturday night.

And in the women’s clashes between the Torpedoes and Barracudas, UWA can cause some serious damage to Brisbane’s hopes of making it into the finals.

The Barracudas enter the weekend with a 10-5 (with one draw) record to be half a game behind the sixth placed UTS Balmain Tigers.

With the Marlins to provide them with tough opposition at Bicton Pool as well this weekend, Brisbane will be throwing everything at trying to topple the Torpedoes to close in on a finals berth.

The young Torpedoes women, though, showed some particularly encouraging signs in the last three quarters against the second placed Queensland Breakers last Sunday.

With young talent showing good signs and the likes of Victoria Brown and Cathryn Earl standing up, the Torpedoes can start to shape the finals this weekend with some impressive performances against the Barracudas.

Saturday night will also feature UWA City Beach junior players jumping in the pool to play at half-time of both NWPL games.

UWA Torpedoes v Brisbane Barracudas – UWA Aquatic Centre (Women: 7.00pm, Men: 8.30pm)

UWA Torpedoes v Brisbane Barracudas – UWA Aquatic Centre (Women: 6.30pm, Men: 8.00pm)