Congratulations to UNSW Wests Magpies on their bronze medal in the National Water Polo League. The team was bitterly disappointed with their semi-final loss to Victoria, having managed to get within one goal late in the last quarter but were unable to find the equaliser. The Gold medal match was won by Fremantle, the team that UNSW had beaten comfortably in the first round of the finals, making the team’s disappointment worse.
Speaking on the Australian Water Polo website after their 8-7 extra time win over Sydney Uni in the bronze medal match, UNSW’s Johnno Cotterill said: “Yesterday was a pretty sour note for us, as we had probably the most successful two months of any national league team in the history of the competition, and to have one bad game was gut-wrenching.”
The pain of the semi-final loss was eased a little by the announcement of the NWPL awards, with Johnno winning the NWPL MVP of the season and highest goal scorer and Joel Dennerley, Johnno Cotterill (pictured below), and Richie Campbell from UNSW Wests making the NWPL All Stars Team.
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NWPL Top Scorers Stake Their Claim
By Tracy Rockwell
Johnno Cotterill has scored 78 goals for Wests this year
The firepower of the men's and women's Australian teams should be greatly enhanced at the London Olympic Games if the number of goals scored in this year's NWPL regular season tournament is anything to go by.
Since the commencement of the National League in 1990, the top NWPL goal scorers have always been selected for the men's Olympic team with Daniel Marsden, 66 goals (1992); Nathan Thomas, 28 goals (2000) and Trent Franklin, 73 goals (2004) gaining selection (R. Sinclair (import), 63 goals , was not eligible).
For the women's team, Bridgette Gusterson, 56 goals (2000) was also selected, but both Marnie Colquhoun, 59 goals (2004) and Taryn Woods, 59 goals (2008) were not Olympic Squad contenders.
But the sheer volume of goals scored in the 2012 National League regular season tournament bodes well for our Olympic aspirations. Johnno Cotterill, 78 goals; Rhys Howden, 69 goals; and Ritchie Campbell, 60 goals; have all done enough to secure their spot in the men's team.
And the women have performed even better with Rowena Webster, 88 goals; Nicola Zagame, 87 goals; and Ashleigh Southern, 71 goals; all adding immensely to the firepower of the women's team.
*Tracy Rockwell is the honourary historian for AWPI as well as the author of Water Warriors - A chronicle of Australian Water Polo