The Australian Men’s Born 2001 team were crowned 20&U Men’s champions at the 15th Pan Pacific Youth Water Polo Festival held in New Zealand.
Playing as the ‘Australian Barbarians’, the team competed in six games over four days where they claimed the gold medal after being undefeated throughout the whole tournament.
For full results from the tournament, visit the 2018 Pacific Youth Water Polo Festival website – click here.
Australia Born 2001 Men’s team: Matt Byrnes, Harry Cranswick, Lachlan Emanuel, Tom Harris, Max Lowe, Byron Kelly, Ben Marshal, Reilly Maurich, Matt Murphy, Hugh O’Neil, Lewis Putt, Sam Rowbottom, Oliver Sheldrick, Jesse Taylor, Matt Wilson. Head Coach: Dmitry Gorshkov.
GOLD MEDAL MATCH, Tuesday July 10 – Australian Barbarians crowned champions
The Australian Barbarians have claimed gold at the 2018 Pan Pacific Youth Water Polo Festival in New Zealand, defeating NSW Blues 10-7.
In a thrilling Australian derby, the Australian Born 2001 side came into the tournament undefeated after five games and were able to maintain their winning streak.
The tournament has proved a valuable building block for the young side, who have delivered quality performances across the four days of competition.
Fellow Aussie side, the New South Wales Blues, certainly turned up to play and their never-say-die approach kept the Australian team on their toes throughout the match.
But the Australian Barbarians proved too strong in the end, with the team gaining much confidence from each of their games across their approaches to attack and defence.
Awarded the Pan Pacific Youth Water Polo Festival Most Valuable Player award, Australian Barbarians Matt Byrnes credited the team’s defence for the win.
“It was a tight game but the boys played well for all four quarters and it was a good defensive game with lots of steals,” he said,
Australian Barbarians vs NSW Blues 10-7
SEMI FINAL, Monday July 9 – Australian Barbarians book spot in gold medal match
The Australian Barbarians have overcome an early scare from North Harbour in the semi-final to book their spot in tomorrow’s gold medal match.
The Australian Barbarians got off to a slow start, heading into halftime down 2-4.
After the main break, the team regathered and came out firing with a renewed focus on attack, turning the match around with a 3-0 third quarter performance.
North Harbour were again held scoreless in the last quarter, allowing Australian Barbarians to secure a 6-4 victory.
Goalkeeper Tom Harris played an important role in his team’s come from behind win with 13 blocks and 3 steals. He said the team showed great resilience.
“It was a really good win from the boys because we really struggled in the first quarter.
“We ended coming back from a three-goal deficit to win by two goals, we really pulled together to get that win,” he said.
Australian Barbarians v North Harbour 6-4
QUARTERS: 1-3, 1-1, 3-0, 1-0
GAME 4, Sunday July 8 – Australian team semi-finals bound
The Australian Barbarians remain undefeated after a 14-4 victory over NSW Waratahs in their fourth match at the Pan Pacs.
The Aussie derby delivered an early goal scoring frenzy, with the Barbarians putting the New South Wales side on the back-foot courtesy of six goals in the first quarter.
Barbarian’s top goal scorer for the match Matt Wilson said it was a great all-round performance by the team.
“It was a good game by the boys, we pressed well, we countered well, and we played good defence.
“Now we’re into the semi-finals and we’re looking forward to it,” he said.
Australian Barbarians v NSW Waratahs 14-4
QUARTERS: 6-1, 3-0, 1-1, 4-2
GAME 3, Sunday July 8 – Australian Barbarians win in a thriller
The Australian Barbarians secured a narrow 11-10 victory over the New Zealand Sea Wolf team to set up day two of competition nicely.
After trailing by one goal at the end of the first quarter, the Aussies rallied to take the lead at half time.
Heading into the final quarter with down by one goal, the Aussies delivered a big defensive effort to outscore their opponents 3-1 and clinch a thrilling one goal victory with 12 seconds remaining.
Australian Barbarians player Max Lowe said it was an exciting game.
“There were a few defensive slip ups, but our fourth quarter plays allowed us to win the game.
“It was a great captains goal with 12 seconds to go by Byron Kelly to give us the lead by one, overall it was a great game by the boys and I’m very proud of them,” he said.
Australian Barbarians v Sea Wolf 11-10
QUARTERS: 3-2, 2-4, 3-3, 3-1
GAME 2, Saturday July 7 – Comfortable win for Australian Barbarians in second match
In their second match of the day, the Australian Barbarians grabbed another win over WAIBOP to remain undefeated after day one in Auckland.
The side were able to extend their lead over another home side in front of a boisterous New Zealand crowd.
Jesse Taylor netted himself three goals for the match and said it was a good improvement from their first match.
“I think as a team we’re starting to develop that chemistry in the pool and get a lot better.
“We got off to a slow start but ended up winning by a lot thanks to how much we improved in our zones and pressing,” he said.
Australian Barbarians v WAIBOP 19-4
GAME 1, Saturday July 7 – Australian Barbarians begin tournament with win
The Australian Born 2001 Men’s team kicked off the 2018 Pan Pacific Youth Water Polo Festival in style with a convincing 13-1 win in their opening match against Hutt Water Polo Club.
The young guns dominated from the outset, really testing the systems and structures they had been practicing in the lead up to the tournament to secure a comfortable win.
With 10 individual goal scorers, the Aussies sent a signal out early in the tournament that they meant business and had gold in their sights.
Double goal scorer Sam Rowbottom from UWA City Beach, WA, said overall it was a good start by the team.
“We had a little bit of a slow start, but we got through with the counter attacks pushing through and passing it around.
“We got a few goals and it was nice to see everyone playing together well,” he said.
Australian Barbarians v Hutt 13-1
QUARTERS: 3-0, 2-1, 3-0, 5-0