Central West Region hosts the first of many WPNSW State Championships! U16 Boys Tournament Wrap-Up






Running from December 9th to 12th December, over 15 teams and 200 athletes competed for the WPNSW U16s Boys State Championship Title. It is the first of three events held in the Central West Region, with the U14s Girls and Boys State Championships held in Dubbo and Orange respectively next week.

This year, WPNSW has introduced a WPNSW Australian Ambassador for its U16s & U14s State Championships. UTS Balmain Tigers National League & Australian U20s representative athlete Harry Sanderson was present at the Boys tournament, helping with team talks, interacting with athletes and assisting with talent selections. Harry explains how these State Championships have an impact on the regional talent.

“The first day was interesting to see a good turnout for a lot of regional athletes and the strength of their Water Polo,” he said.

“It is always interesting coming to a State Championships and not really knowing what those teams are going to be like and seeing the standard that they’re playing at is a really good sign for Water Polo NSW.”

Clear skies catered for over 12 hours of Water Polo action daily. The first day consisted on Division A teams fighting for a place in the championship pools on Day 2. Throughout the tournament, the best 35 athletes are selected for State Team selection camps for next year’s State tournament.

Developing regional teams in these tournaments is paramount for regional athlete development, according to Head Selector Brett Arnold.

“Regional teams being here is fantastic. It gives these kids an opportunity to experience high quality Water Polo,” he said.

“Also, they get to be seen by the top-level coaches and can be selected to join pathways to further their careers.”

With the WPNSW hosting three of its State Championships in the Central West Region; this provides a ‘professional’ experience for the players to enjoy and develop their Water Polo careers according to Harry Sanderson.

“These types of tournaments are really good particularly at U14s and U16s level because it gave you a chance to come away in a team and feel like a professional athlete for a couple of days,” he said.

“You have put into practice everything you have learnt all season.”

Regional teams excelled in the tournament with Ovens & Murray taking out the Division B cup in a tight 3-1 victory over Sydney Uni Lions Gold. Canberra Dolphins also prevailed with the Plate; finishing 7th after defeating UNSW Wests Magpies White.

The Bronze Medal Match went through to penalties with UTS Balmain Tigers Gold succeeding over UNSW Wests Magpies Black. It was a rematch of the U14 State Championships Gold Medal match dating back in 2015, with ACU Cronulla taking on Sydney Uni Lions. In the end, ACU Cronulla Sharks prevailed in another thrilling Gold Medal Match rematch, taking out the title in an 8-6 victory.

Overall, it was another successful U16 Boys State Championships which will see ACU Cronulla defending their crown and new talent arising in next year’s tournament.

Written by Vangeli Kollias (WPNSW Communications Coordinator)

Tournament 7 + Awards

MVP GK - Nicholas Perfrement (ACU Cronulla Sharks Blue)

MVP Player - Conor Barclay (ACU Cronulla Sharks Blue)

Nikita Strbrc (Drummoyne Devils Red)

Daniel Munk (UTS Balmain Tigers Gold)

Lachlan Norgard (Hunter Hurricanes Blue)

Zachary Green (Sydney University Lions Blue)

Matt Wilson (Canberra Dolphins)

Final Placings

Gold – ACU Cronulla Sharks Blue


11th – Drummoyne Devils Black


Silver – Sydney Uni Lions Blue


12th – Ovens & Murray (Division B Winners)


Bronze – UTS Balmain Tigers Gold


13th – Sydney Uni Lions Gold

4th- UNSW Wests Magpies Black


14th – Hunter Hurricanes Grey


5th- Canberra Dolphins


15th – UTS Balmain Tigers Black


6th – UNSW Wests Magpies White


16th – Central Coast


7th – SNB Breakers


17th - ACU Cronulla Sharks White


8th – Drummoyne Devils Red


18th – Drummoyne Devils White


9th – Hunter Hurricanes Blue


19th – Ryde Rhinos

10th – ACU Cronulla Sharks Black





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