Thursday’s opening day of the Telkom SA National Water Polo Championships saw some ferocious action at the Kings Park Aquatic Centre in Durban.
Only it wasn’t the defending champions, CGA OJ Eagles who ended top of the log in Pool A, but the Western Province team.
CGA OJ Eagles went into the championships as favorites to yet again defend their title, but soon realised that the Western Province contingent meant serious business.
The Eagles opened their title defense with a 17-6 thrashing of Border and must have felt confident of ending day one on top of the log as WP could only manage a 7-1 victory over KZN. But that confidence would have been severely dented as Western Province then went on to hammer Central Gauteng A 16-1 to soar to the top of the standings.
The Eagles on the other hand had a much tougher second match against CGA Old Edwardians, beating them by only two goals; the final score 10-8 in the defending champions’ favour.
That left WP on top of Pool A at the end of day one. Both teams have maximum points after playing two matches (4), but the goal difference is telling. WP conceded only two goals and slammed home a whopping 23, whereas the Eagles may have scored more (27 goals) but have also conceded more goals (13).
In Pool B, WP B were also top the log. They are the only team to have won both their matches with thrashings of their C team (12-5) and then put 15 goals past Northern Tigers, who were only capable of responding with five.
In the women’s section, Western Province B sit on top of the log in Pool A with maximum points after winning all three matches today. They opened their account with a 25-1 drubbing of Northern Tigers, followed by a 11-2 win over their counter parts WP C and ended the day with a 13-1 thrashing of Border B.
In the ladies Pool B, Western Province A came out tops after winning their two games with Border A close second on the same points ┬ábut at the end of the day, it came down to goal difference as they conceded 22 goals to Western Province A’s 8 goals.
Much has been said about the parking area around the Kings Park Swimming Pool due to the construction going on for the 2010 FINA World Cup, but Swimming CEO, Shaun Adriaanse was quick to express their gratitude for the support of the eThekwini Municipality.
ÔÇ£They have gone to great lengths to accommodate the hosting of these Championships at the Kings Park Aquatics Centre as the venue is currently being upgraded as the accreditation office for the 2010 FIFA World CupÔÇØ.
The action continues Friday as the second day of water polo kicks off at 8am.