Australian National Championships 2018, Adelaide
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The Adelaide White Pointers hosted their first UWRA Australian National Championships in 2018 at the Adelaide Aquatic Centre. All UWRA clubs competed in the mixed division, and for the first time at a Nationals, a full women's division was also played, with teams from Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide, Brisbane and Hobart. A total of fifteen teams from seven clubs competed in the tournament, a record number for Nationals, and several guest players from New Zealand joined the Canberra, Perth and Brisbane teams.
The Australian Underwater Rugby League kicked off in its first year with Round 1 taking place in Melbourne at Aquanation Ringwood, the venue of the 2016 Australian National Championships. A team of eight from the UNSW Sydney Whales defeated the home team Victoria Seadragons A to win the Melbourne Cup and take an early lead in the AUWRL for 2018.
The UNSW Whales hosted nODEX 2017 at Ashfield Aquatic Centre in Sydney. The tournament was renamed to Steinfeld Cup to celebrate the effort and achievements of Celine Steinfeld who introduced and pioneered the sport of underwater rugby in Australia when she started the first club in Sydney ten years ago.
The Perth Raiders, Australia's newest underwater rugby team, hosted the first UWR tournament away from the east coast of Australia. The Perth Raiders edged out the reigning national champions Brisbane Gauls in a tense grand final match, which was locked at one-all at full time. Victory was sealed for the Raiders in the last 30 seconds of extra time, handing them a maiden National Championships win, and a spot in 2017's Champions Cup.
The UniDive Gauls hosted the 3rd annual Pan Pacific Cup in Brisbane, this year at a new venue in the heart of Australia's third-largest city. Centenary Pool provided teams from across Australia and Singapore a different Pan Pacific Cup experience, in a smaller outdoor pool. The Victoria Seadragons won their first ever tournament, overcoming hosts Brisbane Gauls and two-time PPC champions Sydney Whales.
The UNSW Sydney Whales was the first Australian team to compete in the 2016 Champions Cup in Berlin, Germany, after their back-to-back national championship dominance in 2014 and 2015. They played amongst world underwater rugby heavyweights such as Molde UVK (Norway) and Orcas (Colombia).
In 2016, the Australian National Championships was hosted by the Victoria Seadragons at Aquanation Ringwood, Victoria on 17-18 September. New Zealand sent teams from Auckland and Wellington to participate amongst the six Australian teams, and played against the Australian National team.
The Pan Pacific Cup returned to Brisbane in 2016, again hosted by the UniDive Gauls at the Brisbane Aquatic Centre in the Sleeman Sports Complex, a venue for the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games. The tournament again saw the F.A.T Singapore team return to challenge the eight Australian teams.
The Australian National Championships returned to Ashfield Aquatic Centre in Sydney in 2015 where the Sydney Whales would attempt to defend their 2014 title at home. (n)ODEX 2015 was the first ever tournament for the newly established Adelaide White Pointers, whilst Victoria and Tasmania combined to form the Vic-Tas Ronin.
In 2015, for the first time, the Australian national men’s and women’s teams competed in the 10th CMAS Underwater Rugby World Championship in Cali, Colombia from 26 July to 01 August. Twenty seven players in the national team were selected in April 2015 following a competitive process. The Australian women's team finished 7th out of 9 teams, whilst the men's team finished 11th out of 12.
Words: Ricardo Iriarte This year Nationals were held at Brisbane at Pan Pacific Cup, April 4th and 5th 2015. All the Australian teams were participating in the Australian Nationals Championship. UWR UNSW from Sydney was the Champion winning for second time in a row the tournament, undefeated.
In 2014, the national underwater rugby tournament, (n)ODEX, was jointly hosted by UNSW UWR and Canberra UWR at Ashfield Aquatic Centre, NSW. The competition saw seven teams from five Australian clubs and two New Zealand teams compete in a round robin tournament.
The Victoria Seadragons hosted their first ever tournament in Melbourne in June 2014. Established teams from Brisbane, Sydney, Canberra and Hobart visited the Melbourne Sports and Aquatic Centre to compete against the hosts, who were playing in their first tournament just months after the formation of their club.
The first Australian Underwater Rugby tournament was held in September 2013 during the Australian International Scuba & Underwater Sports Expo (ODEX) in Sydney. Teams from Sydney, Canberra, Brisbane, Tasmania and New Zealand competed in the round robin tournament over two days.