Round two of the OVO Australian Waterpolo League is set to explode, with the return of defending champions UNSW Magpies and Sydney Uni Lions.
The Magpies are at home to the ACU Cronulla Sharks on Saturday 10 February, with the match to be streamed live on OVO Play.
The last time the two men’s sides met was the semi-final of the 2017 national league, with the Magpies edging out the Sharks to go through to the finals and take home the trophy.
It was one of the most heated games of the finals Series and no doubt come Saturday the Sharks will be out for redemption with the Magpies eager to stamp a dominance on the season early.
The Magpies assault will be spearheaded by Olympic veterans Joel Dennerley and Richie Campbell, along with Rio Olympian Jarrod Gilchrist and fellow Aussie Sharks team mate Lachlan Hollis.
The Cronulla Sharks will once again have a strong line up, with centre forward Joe Kayes who this year is joined by his fellow Rio Olympian Aiden Roach, who missed the 2017 season due to injury.
In the women’s competition we see a new look side for the Killer Magpies with Rio team mates Lea Yanitsas and Ash Southern both joining the ranks. Yanitsas who has formed part of the Sydney Uni Lions back to back premiership winning sides, is sure to be formidable in goals. Southern always dangerous in attack will no doubt bring a new flavour to the Killer Whales.
While the Sharks are without Aussie Stingers Captain Rowie Webster who is sidelined with injury, there is still plenty of experience in the squad and they head into the round two clash with a solid win against Balmain Tigers in round one.
The real battle in the women’s competition could be poolside, with Head Coaches Bec Rippon (ACU Cronulla Sharks) and Tim Hamill (UNSW Killer Wales) set to go head to head. Rippon and Hamill are NSWIS coaches used to working together and coaching the water polo teams as part of the NSWIS program.
But this weekend they’ll have to face off, something that Bec Rippon said they have come to get used to when National League rolls around.
“There will no doubt be a bit a banter and a few of our work colleagues will be there to watch it all unfold.
“At the end of the day while we have coached together enough to know how each other works, we both have a good understanding of the game and will approach it differently in terms of what we need to get out of our teams.
“Our team has been training well, we are a good unit. We have Rowie out with injury which isn’t ideal, but we had a good game last weekend and we’ll take that confidence with us into this game.
“I’m expecting a typical Cronulla verse UNSW match – fast, exciting and tough. Both teams have good players,” said Rippon.
Round 2 kicks off with the OVO Mobile game of the week, UNSW Wests vs ACU Cronulla Sharks live on OVO Mobile from 1:30pm.
For full draw – click here.