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Aussies go down to reigning champs Serbia in World Champs quarter finals

26 July 2017

WATER POLO: Australia’s Men’s Water Polo Team, have gone down to reigning World and Olympic Champions Serbia 5-15 in the quarter finals of the FINA World Championships in Budapest.

A young, new look Aussie Sharks side team was pleased to make the top eight and for the experience the Tournament has offered to help them build towards Tokyo over the next three years.

Dual Olympian and Aussie Sharks Captain Aaron Younger, said big games like this show the team what they need to be working towards.

“It is disappointing we loss - it showed our inexperience, but this is the start of our cycle towards Tokyo.

“I think this was a wake up call for the boys for where we need to start building towards in the next three years and I think we just need to take the experience from this game and keep moving forward,” he said.

One of the younger players who has stepped up for the Aussie Sharks throughout the tournament is Andrew Ford, echoing his Captain’s sentiments.

“Obviously the final result disappoints us. We are a really young team, but we learned a lot from this World Championship.

“Serbia had better results and probably fought better than us. The quarter-final provided us with a lot of experience and I hope we’ll be able to make use of it,” said Ford.

Serbia got off to a nice start to take an early 2-0 lead in the first, but Gilchrist kept the Aussies in the hunt with a cross cage bounce to take scores 1-2. Serbia capitalising twice during extra man saw the Aussies trail 1-4 at the end of the first quarter.

Serbia again opened in the scoring in the second quarter but Nathan Power replied with a good goal to have the Aussies within striking distance 2-5. It was a double for the Aussies with nice tap from Lachy Edwards to take scores 3-5. But the Serbians were just getting warmed up with three strong goals in the last three minutes of the quarter to have the Aussies down 3-8 at half time.

The third quarter again saw Serbia on the score board first but that was quickly followed by Aussie Sharks Captain Aaron Younger scoring in extra man to take the score to 4-9. Again the Serbians kicked into another gear to steam away from the Aussies with two consecutive goals, followed by Joe Kayes scoring on the rebound from two metres. Serbia scoring on the counter in the final minutes of the third quarter had the Aussies trailing 5-12.

In the final quarter Serbia dominated both in attack and defence, powering home with three goals and managing to keep the Aussie Sharks scoreless.

For the Aussie Sharks making the top eight was what they had their sights set on as the team builds towards the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.

Quarters: 4-1, 4-2, 4-2, 3-0

Penalties: SRB: 1/1.
Extra Man: SRB: 3/5. AUS: 1/6.

AUSTRALIA: Edward Slade, Timothy Putt, George Ford, Joseph Kayes (1), Nathan Power (1), Lachlan Edwards (1), Jarrod Gilchrist (1), Aaron Younger (1), Andrew Ford, James Fannon, Lachlan Hollis, Nicholas Brooks, Anthony Hrysanthos. Head Coach: Elvis Fatovic.

SERBIA: Gojko Pijetlovic, Dusan Mandic, Viktor Rasovic (1), Sava Randelovic (1), Milos Cuk (2), Dusko Pijetlovic (2), Nemanja Ubovic, Milan Aleksic (1), Nikola Jaksic (1), Filip Filipovic (3), Andrija Prlainovic (2), Stefan Mitrovic (2), Branislav Mitrovic. Head Coach: Dejan Savic.

Water polo Australia

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