With three rounds of the 2011-12 men’s and women’s National Water Polo League competitions to play and final six positions up for grabs, this Sunday’s round between Sydney University Lions and Drummoyne Devils is vital for both clubs.
So much so, they have titled it Derby Day at the Drummoyne Pool, with the women’s fixture commencing at 4pm and the men’s match at 5.15pm. The pool has a 500-seat capacity and is ideal for watching the sport.
Among those competing on the day will be Aussie Sharks players Samuele Avallone, John Hahn, Thomas Whalan and Rob Maitland, as well as duel Olympian Trent Franklin and Aussie Stingers centre back Hannah Buckling.
Drummoyne’s men’s team are sixth on a tightly contested ladder, while Sydney University lie seventh with a top-six berth in their sights. Brisbane Barracudas lead the men’s competition on 66 points, with UNSW Wests Magpies (59), Victorian Tigers (55), Fremantle Mariners (54), UWA Torpedoes (49) and Drummoyne (44) making up the top six.
Brisbane Barracudas also lead the women’s competition on 65 points, with Fremantle Mariners (65), Victorian Tigers (58), Cronulla Sharks (52), Balmain Tigers (51) and Adelaide Jets (50) making up the top six. Sydney University are seventh and hope to knock over last-placed Drummoyne in their push for a top-six berth.
The Drummoyne club is promoting the matches as Derby Day – similar to the Bondi Icebergs Water Polo By The Sea promotion at the start of the year – to attract new fans to the game.
“We wanted to create an event that is similar to Water By The Sea, but was unique to the water polo community of Drummoyne,” John Hahn said.
“Drummoyne is a great place to showcase the sport of water polo and there’s no better way than to have a local rivalry to get the public down there and expose them to it.
“The water polo action is also going to be first class with numerous players eyeing off selection in the Aussie Sharks and Aussie Stingers Olympic squads, so if people have never seen water polo before, Sunday will be a good time to start.”
Derby Day begins at 3pm with pre-match entertainment, followed by the women’s National League match at 4pm before the men hit the pool at 5.30pm.
Meanwhile, Sydney University have two teams in local grand finals at the Ryde Pool this Sunday. The M3 side will play their season decider at 3:15pm, while the M2s will do battle at 4:30pm.
And in further great news, Sydney University U18 and U14 teams have qualified for their respective NSW Grand Finals to be played on Wednesday April 4.