THE Hunter Hurricanes showed their National League class, taking out both the men’s and women’s divisions of the Southgate Inn Water Polo Carnival on the weekend.
The Hurricanes became the third winners of the carnival since it was reintroduced and in both finals defeated Tamworth opposition.
First-up were the women with a 6-3 victory over the Tamworth 1s. The men were then too good for the Tamworth Opens, taking the spoils 12-1.
Tamworth got the first shot of the game away and came close to opening the scoring but Brad Brown’s shot ricocheted off the top post and from there the Hurricanes dominated.
Australian U20s rep Nathan Power got them going with a nice backhander and scored their first three goals as they opened up a 4-nil lead at
Coach and former Australian captain Dan Marsden added their fifth early in the third quarter and with a couple of breakaway goals the Hurricanes opened up an eight-goal lead heading into the last quarter.
They really caused Tamworth some problems on the fast-break, which they created a lot of on the back of their strong defence.
Tamworth didn’t get a lot of shots away. The Hurricanes really pressed them out to outside shooting range and covered their drivers well, and it wasn’t until the final 20 seconds of the game that they finally found the back of the net with Brock Smith scoring their lone goal.
Marsden is also coaching the women this year and was pretty happy with what he saw from both sides.
“It was a good start to the National League season for us,” Marsden said.
It’s been about three months since they last had a game and the weekend was a good chance to get back in the water, and get their structures and systems back in work, he said.
There was also a promotional side to their visit.
“Part of the exercise for us is to show our faces,” Marsden said.
“Tamworth is one of our catchment areas.”
It was a good opportunity to further foster their relationship with the local area and give some of the local players something to aspire to.
“It gives them a target,” Marsden said.
“They can see what they’ve got to aim for to make the National League.”
They’ll now disband to their various club sides for the local Newcastle competition. That gets under way in a couple of weeks.
All the while they’ll continue training and will probably do “a pretty hard block over Christmas”.
Their training will be interspersed with some games.
“We’ve moved our summer competition to Saturday,” Marsden said.
That brings them in line with the Sydney competition and will mean they can play games against them on
They’ve also lined up the Brisbane Barracudas to come down for a couple of games.
Power was prominent in the final, bagging four goals, and was one of the stars for the men’s side over the weekend.
He’s just back from touring with the Australian U20s side.
“He’s got all the attributes to be a world-class player,” Marsden said.
Matt Skinner was another strong performer.
He was afterwards headed into camp with the Australian U18s ahead of their upcoming World Championship campaign in Perth.
For the women, Brittany Tait, Montana Perkins and Emily Boland all had pretty good tournaments.
Tait was strong in the final, netting a double, along with Tracy Elliot.