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Hunter Hurricanes claim last-ditch victory over UNSW Wests Magpies

SAVES: Hunter Hurricanes goalkeeper Aleksander Ruzic (red cap). Picture: SImone De PeakThe Hunter Hurricanes will take renewed confidence into this weekend’s final Australian Water Polo League round following a last-ditch 7-6 victory at Lambton Poolon Tuesday night led by goalkeeperAleksander Ruzic.

Hurricanes men’s coach Dan Robinson said Ruzic was responsible for up to 15 saves before Mitch Robinson slotted home the winner for the second-placed team with just one minute remaining against fellow title contenders UNSW Wests Magpies.

“Alek Ruzic was phenomenal,” coach Robinson said.

“I can’t tell you exactly how many stops he made, but it would have to be 12 or 15 easily. He kept us in the game.”

The finals-bound Hurricanes led 4-1 at half-time but the visitors fought back, featuring a 5-1 run, to lead by one in the fourth and final quarter.

Hunter managed to stem the flow and equalise with the Magpies at 6-all before key player Robinson stepped up to convertin the closing stages.

“I was from the bad side of the pool [his weak side] and he managed to score a cross-cage goal with one minute to go,” coach Robinson said.

“It was a pretty good effort.”

Robinson declared it “one of our best performances this year” and despite difficult road trips on Saturday and Sundayto facefourth-placed Cronulla Sharks and minor premiers Sydney University Lions respectively he feels confident of holding onto a top-two spot ahead of finals from May 4.

“We have two tough games this weekend, but we want to finish top two,” he said.

“We have put ourselves in the best possible position to do that now. The boys are pretty excited about it all.”

The Hurricanes gotthrough the catch-up fixture, postponed from April 14 because of lighting,without any injuries.

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