Torpedoes host Fremantle in Western Derby at UWA

THE 2017 National Water Polo League season concludes with a big occasion at UWA Aquatic Centre with the UWA Torpedoes hosting the Fremantle Marlins and Mariners on Friday night.

It’s going to a huge night and celebration of water polo in WA in the final round of the 2017 NWPL season.

It will get underway at 7pm with the women’s contest between the Torpedoes and Fremantle Marlins.

Then at 8.30pm, the men’s contest will begin with the defending champion Torpedoes facing off with the Fremantle Mariners.

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The Torpedoes women might not have finals to prepare for like the Marlins, but they have shown some good signs of improvement and development throughout the 2017 season.

That included an impressive win over the Brisbane Barracudas last Thursday night.

Torpedoes women’s coach Scott Schweickle is looking forward to his first taste of a derby for UWA on home turf on Friday night.

“You get out what you put in and the way we are feeling at the moment, it’s the end of the season for us and we have nothing to lose so we’ll come out with all guns blazing,” Schweickle said.

“We’ve got one game to go and it’s the local derby. It’s always a tough game no matter what state you play in. We are really looking forward to it and I think we’ll be very competitive against them come Friday night. It will be a really good benchmark to see where we’re at heading towards next year.”

UWA import Kingsley Hill has enjoyed immensely her experience this year with the Torpedoes and is looking forward to finishing on a winning note on Friday night.

“I sure hope we can finish off with a win. It’s a big game for us and I know we’re all looking forward to it,” Hill said.

“We will have the home pool advantage so hopefully that helps us. We are looking forward to it and hopefully it’s a different ending to last time at their pool.”

Meanwhile, the Torpedoes men have qualified for the NWPL finals for 2017 backing up last year’s breakthrough premiership triumph.

They will play finals no matter the result on Friday night but could still finish anywhere from fourth to sixth position heading into the week in Sydney.

While the Mariners haven’t qualified for the finals, Torpedoes coach Andrei Kovalenko knows they can’t be taken lightly in the derby on Friday night at UWA.

“It’s a very important game for both teams because there is a bit of history between the two clubs and they will go to play their best to show they deserve to be in the finals. Our boys will have to be at their best to gain that confidence before the finals,” Kovalenko said.

“I’m looking forward to a tough game and I have a lot of respect for Mariners. They are a very good team and were unlucky with a couple of unlucky losses, but they can play excellent water polo. They didn’t make the finals but they still have a very good team.”

Torpedoes champion goalkeeper Luke Quinlivan, who captained UWA to last year’s premiership, has declared that this will be his last season in the NWPL.

That means that Friday night will be his last home game at UWA and he won’t be losing if there’s anything he can do about it.

“Friday night is not just my last home game. Friday night is my last home against the Fremantle Mariners so we are going to win,” Quinlivan said.

“Come hell or high water, we are going to win that game. It’s not the done thing to call a result before hand, but I will break both arms and legs if I have to make sure we win.”

UWA Torpedoes v Fremantle Marlins – UWA Aquatic Centre (Women: 7.00pm)
UWA Torpedoes v Fremantle Mariners – UWA Aquatic Centre (Men: 8.30pm)