It’s the 2016 National Water Polo League Women’s Grand Final replay with the Sydney Lions and Brisbane Barracudas set to go head to head as round two gets underway.
The Lions are at home to the travelling Barracudas, with both sides having a flawless start to the season winning two from two games in round one.
The defending champions Sydney Lions, are heavy favourites already to take back to back titles with an impressive roster lineup.
Back in the pool after resting from the Rio Olympic Games, Sydney Uni Lions goalkeeper Lea Yanitsas said she’s expecting a lot from the Barracudas.
“They have some new faces we don’t know and haven’t played against. But one thing you can count on with the Barracudas is they have smart players, they are clever and you really have to be prepared for anything.
“Like a lot of players from Rio, I’ve had a big break heading into the National Water Polo League, probably the biggest I’ve had in four years.
“While a lot of us (Rio players) are not back at our peak fitness, it’s just exciting to be back in the pool.
“Our Sydney Uni Lions team has a lot of fresh faces as well which is a great new energy for the team. We’re blending together well and will certainly be out to defend our title.
“I still remember the grand final so vividly, but you can’t just look back – now it’s about moving forward,” said Yanitsas.
Yanitsas’ Rio team mate Ash Southern will be one of the leaders in what is a new look outfit for the Brisbane Barracudas.
“The team this year is a mix of youth and experience. This year our senior players will really be relying on our younger girls to step up and I think they will be able to do that.
“We have some players who are debuting in the National Water Polo League and they will be looking to make a mark and are very fit.
“I’m expecting a real challenge on our hands this weekend. While it’s only the second round I think given the Lions haven’t lost too many players from 2016, I don’t think it’s a stretch to to say they are the ones to beat.
“Last week was an emotional round for our team and we were certainly running on adrenalin. This week we’ll need to focus and be ready to take on some top players,” said Southern.
The Sydney Uni Lions will take on Brisbane Barracudas on Saturday at 2:00pm at Peter Montgomery Pool.
For full Women’s fixtures – click here.
For full Men’s fixtures – click here.