Water polo success for Tauranga teens

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Tauranga Water Polo Club teams have a fresh cache of medals. PHOTO/FILE
Tauranga Water Polo Club teams have a fresh cache of medals. PHOTO/FILE

Water Polo

Tauranga Water Polo Club teams have won four medals at the under-16 national water polo championships.

The under-16 boys A team repeated their 2014 success, beating North Harbour to win the title with a 4-3 win in the final.

The under-16 girls A team had drawn with North Harbour 5-all earlier in the tournament, but suffered a 10-3 reverse in the final and had to be satisfied with silver.

The A teams were coached by former professional and international representative Emma Jones and Joe Bensley, who split his time between Tauranga and Hibiscus Coast girls.

The girls' under-16 B team also took silver, in division 2, after a penalty shoot-out with North Harbour White and the boy's under-16 B team won the bronze medal playoff against Hibiscus Coast, 8-2.

Josef Schuler and Shinae Carrington were named in the tournament teams, alongside goalkeeper Bae Fountain, who was named boys' Most Valuable Player.

Club chairman Sam Mano said the success showed the strength in depth of the club, with development starting at under-12 level.

''We don't have the luxury of the big competitions that Auckland do and sometimes we struggle for game time. But we have some very talented kids.

''In Tauranga I think we are quite lucky because a lot of our sports are water-related and a lot of our members in the winter do water polo and in summer tend to do surf lifesaving.''

This week the club's under-14 A boys and girls teams are competing in the first division national championships in Wellington while the under-14 B and development teams are competing in the division two championships at Baywave.

■ Club members Malia Josephson and Alisha Winstanley have made it into the reduced New Zealand women's squad for the Fina World Championships.

- Bay of Plenty Times

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