Southpaws give Tigers right mix

WATER POLO 

THE odds are stacked Tigers’ way tonight as they take on Eco Energy in the Tamworth Water Polo grand final.

Eco have lost two of their strike weapons for the showdown, while Tigers have got two back.

Tigers are minor and defending premiers and have met Eco in the past three games they have played this season.

Captain Chris Rowbottom said  despite a little hiccup the team had finished the season in top form.

That “little hiccup” was a last round loss to Eco Energy, before they turned it around in the major semi last Friday, winning by two goals.

“We have met each other plenty of times this year,” Rowbottom said.

“It has gone both ways but we are in front.” 

Eco Energy just managed to edge Southgate out of the final during the week.

A very tight game saw them get another shot at the Tigers by just one goal.

Left hander Josh Magann and Scott Ricard have returned from university to rejoin the Tigers for the final.

Both players add a lot of additional strike power up front and in defence.

On the other side Eco have lost Jordan Sharpe, as well as Ryan Martin.

“It does give us a lot of confidence going into the final,” Rowbottom said.

“Last time they beat us we had no subs.” 

“We will have a full strength side for the final.” 

The captain said the game was all about defence and was looking for a full team effort.

He will play in goals and is expecting the other “old blokes” like Norm Turner, Scott Ricard and Josh Magann to stand up in defence.

“I want those older bigger blokes to use their weight and size in defence,” Rowbottom said.

“The younger blokes will also defend but we rely on their speed to get the ball down the other end.” 

With Magann back in the side the Tigers have two left handers in the pool.

“Having one is great but having two means we have both sides of the pool covered,” Rowbottom said.

The captain will tell his troops to make their shots count with opposition captain Tony Fisk also in goals.

“He is very good in there so shots have to be spot on.” 

“If we put in a full team effort I am confident we can go back to back.”

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