The Australian men’s water polo team has gone down to
three-time defending Olympic champions Hungary 8-4 at the Vodafone Cup in
Despite losing in what was their final hit out prior to
the London Olympic Games the Aussie Sharks did enough to secure the silver
medal in the four team tournament after a strong win over world champions Italy
and a draw with Spain earlier in the week.
With a huge home crowd behind them at the Alfred Hajos
Swimming Stadium, Hungary jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the second quarter before
Aidan Roach got Australia on the board.
Hungary refused to give an inch though and held a three
goal advantage for much of the second half although senior Australian players
Jamie Beadsworth (WAIS) and captain Sam McGregor got the Sharks within two
strikes on a couple of occasions.
Beadsworth was joined in competition by fellow WAIS
athletes Aaron Younger and Tim Cleland, whilst Joel Swift was rested.
A one goal from eight conversion rate in extra-man attack
meant the Australians were always going to struggle to haul in the locals and
the match ended with the four goal margin.
Hungary ended with the gold, Australia silver, Spain the
bronze and Italy fourth place.
Olympic debutant Johnno Cotterill said the side would
take a lot of positives from the three-Test tournament as they turn their
attention to London.
"It’s always disappointing to lose but as with other
games this week we showed progress tonight and we truly believe we can go to
the next level in London,” Cotterill said.
The Sharks will now train with the Hungarian team over
the next three days before heading to London where they will play their first
game against Italy on July 29.
The Aussie Sharks, Australia’s London Olympic bound men’s
water polo team, have fought back from two goals down in the last quarter to
snatch a 7-all draw against Spain at the Vodafone Cup in Hungary.
The confidence building result against the in form
Spaniards, whom they will play in the Group stage at the Olympics, follows
yesterday’s 10-9 upset of fellow Olympic opponents and reigning world champions
Australia now sit atop the Vodafone Cup standings going
into their final game of the tournament against three-time defending Olympic
champions Hungary, at 2am (AEST) on Wednesday morning.
In what was a tight clash throughout, Spain led 3-2 at
quarter time, 4-3 at the main break and 6-4 with one term to play before the
Australian comeback that saw late goals from centre forward Jamie Beadsworth
and rising star Aidan Roach, who converted a penalty with less than two minutes
Roach said the side showed plenty of courage to fight
back and grab the tie.
"We started well but dropped our intensity in the middle
of the game,” Roach said.
"But (to draw) showed a lot of character to come back
from two goals down.”
Australian head coach John Fox was already looking ahead
to the next game and the challenge of the Hungarians.
"You're never happy with a draw but I was pleased with
the way it was battled out today,” Fox said.
"I'm looking forward to playing Hungary tomorrow with a
full strength squad.”
- Water Polo Australia