It has been a busy and strenuous few weeks for Fremantle Water Polo, with back to back games and long travel days. Though the 2020 Season is presenting some challenges, both the Marlins and the Mariners are competing well against the high-performing teams of the season.
We caught up with the Marlins following Round 4 & 5:
After the four-day road-trip for round 3, the Fremantle Marlins worked hard in Round 4 to win both games against the Cronulla Sharks and keep a small margin with their losses against Sydney Uni Lions. Marlins’ coach Katie Finucane said the girls were tired but “ready to see what the Sydney teams were all about”.
“We had some good games in Queensland and Newcastle, but also have a lot to improve on,” Finucane says.
“Unfortunately, the tight turn around meant that we didn’t have that much time to work on strategy in training so had to try implement them during the games against Sydney Uni and Cronulla”.
Marlins utility veteran, Kelly Parks said the team has been playing well but are inconsistent.
“In Round 4 we played well in our first game with Cronulla, but had some concentration lapses in the second game, we were fortunate to come away with a win from the penalty shoot-out” commented Parks.
The Marlins played another tight game against the UWA Torpedoes in the second derby of the season in Round 5.
Parks commented that commitments to the Rottnest Channel swim was always going to make it difficult, but it provided a good opportunity for the younger players to gain some much-needed experience.
“It was terrific to see that some of our senior players who competed in the grueling swim to Rottnest, made it back to Perth to make sure the team was covered to play the match,” Parks noted it was “An amazing effort by those girls and one that was rewarded by the Marlins taking the win on the night.”
There’s no denying the Fremantle Marlins are a close-knit team and work well together both in games and on the road. With another big travel week looming for the girls, Parks is excited at the opportunity for the young players to experience some good quality, tough games.
“It will be interesting to see how the other Sydney teams UTS Balmain and UNSW Wests compare to Sydney Uni, who seem to be the team to beat at the moment!” she says.
ROUND 4 FINAL SCORES:
Thursday 13/02 Fremantle def. ACU Cronulla Sharks 10-6
Friday 14/02 Sydney Uni Lions def. Fremantle 11-6
Saturday 15/02 Fremantle def. ACU Cronulla Sharks 14-13
Sunday 16/02 Fremantle def. Sydney Uni Lions 5-10
UNIVERSITY OF NOTRE DAME PLAYERS OF THE ROUND: Lilian Hedges and Zoe Arancini
ROUND 5 FINAL SCORES:
Saturday 22/02 Fremantle def. UWA Torpedoes 11-10
UNIVERSITY OF NOTRE DAME PLAYER OF THE ROUND: Sarah Siepker
Mariners comments from the recent rounds:
The Fremantle Mariners performed exceptionally in the round 4 games, winning 3 of 4 games against the Cronulla Sharks and Sydney Uni Lions. Vice-Captain, Clancy Neesham reflected on the round noting that “the Mariners had turned a corner in consistency, playing hard for all 4 quarters of the games”
“We played really well as a team, by sticking to the coach’s game plan we had a really positive round of water polo for our boys in Round 4” Neesham said
When reflecting on the round, Adam Richardson noted “The games against Sydney University were harder overall, however I believe we would have won both games if we didn’t have two key attacking players sustain injuries which saw them retire for the match”
Richardson continued, “Overall the players did really well. By the end of round 4 they had played 8 hard games over 11 days, and we had a very clear goal heading into Round 5 to win against the UWA Torpedoes.”
The large margin win in Round 5 was well-received amongst the Mariners, which Neesham said was the result of a big commitment from the team to stay focused on the game plan.
“We always look forward to playing in the Derby, there is always such a terrific atmosphere and it is exciting to watch the best players in WA water polo in action, It was a big effort to get enough players to compete against the Torpedoes, with a few team members doing the gruelling Rottnest Swim and then coming back to complete in the match which was tough. This made the game challenging but in true Freo style we gave it everything we had, and it was great under those tough circumstances to come away with a comprehensive win on the night,” Neesham commented.
The boys are looking forward to heading East in a couple of weeks, after some brilliant wins over the 2020 season.
Concluding on the round, Neesham said “I am confident our team is up for this challenge and as a group we aim to mix it with the best teams in the league, it should be an exciting run into the finals series.”
ROUND 4 FINAL SCORES:
Thursday 13/02 Fremantle def. ACU Cronulla Sharks 17-8
Friday 14/02 Fremantle def. Sydney Uni Lions 12-10
Saturday 15/02 Fremantle def. ACU Cronulla Sharks 19-11
Sunday 16/02 Sydney Uni Lions def. Fremantle 10-9
QUBE PLAYERS OF THE ROUND: John Hedges, Cody Smith and Pol Barbena
ROUND 5 FINAL SCORES:
Saturday 22/02 Fremantle def. UWA Torpedoes 15-9
QUBE PLAYER OF THE ROUND: Joel Swift