The Sydney Uni women’s water polo Lions are reeling after losing Australian Stingers goal keeper Lea Yanitsas for the season with a badly broken finger.

Yanitsas suffered the painful injury during the first quarter of the Lions 12-8 win over the Hunter Hurricanes at Lambton Pool in Newcastle on Sunday. She will undergo surgery this week and will miss the remainder of the National Water Polo League (NWPL) season and beyond.

Australian Schoolgirls keeper Georgia Rossettin replaced Yanitsas for almost the entire game and performed admirably.

Sydney Uni Head Coach, Ian Trent said, “Losing Lea is a real blow. She was feeling good after recovering from hip and back problems and for this to happen now is really disappointing for her and the team. But she is one of the most resilient characters I know and she will bounce back, no doubt.”

It wasn’t a great weekend for the Lions after going down 11-9 to a determined Balmain in the Cancer Awareness Charity Day at Dawn Fraser Baths on Saturday.

Trent was suitably unimpressed, saying “To say we were disappointing is an understatement. We didn’t respond to the surroundings, the refereeing or the opposition. Our team needs to turn up ready to play every game and it is a lesson well learned.”

Five Lions travel to Melbourne this week for the NWPL All Star game on Sunday – Isobel Bishop, Keesja Gofers, Sarah Harris, Gi Clark and Bronte Halligan. This will highlight a two week break in the NWPL, with the Lions next assignment a daunting road trip to Brisbane from April 24-27.