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Joanna Wray blogs from the pre-season Water Polo training camp with Germany - Day 5

Day 5 sees the British Team, powered by British Gas, bringing their pre-season tour of Germany to a close with one final training session and match against their hosts in Gronau.

We reached the last day of the camp and the girls were getting very tired having only started full time training after their break two weeks ago.

The Germans were also tired and decided to opt for just one training session in the morning, cancelling the second one before we fly home – tight limbs managed a leap of joy!

The last training session consisted of one hour individual training and one hour match play.  Szilveszter (Fekete, Women’s Head Coach) tried a new attack and defence system yesterday in the scrimmaging and today the girls put it into action in the training match.

The match started well and the defensive tactic was working very well even though it had never been done in a game situation before.  It was decided again that each man up for both teams would be done three times over to enable set play practice (so once again this had a big affect on the score).

Germany scored five in the first quarter, only one from a man up and the rest impressively from open play.  For GB Rachel, Ciara and Fran L scored – Rach and Fran from man up while Ciara scored was a great lob.

The Germans started to dominate in the second quarter, scoring 3/3 on the man ups and quite a few from open play.  Our team’s focus on the new defence and attack meant we needed to work out each other’s positions, talking throughout the match on how best to work the new systems.

We received a man up and scored two from three chances converted by Fiona and Lisa. The half-time score was 11-5 to Germany.

During the third quarter the Germans had three man-up’s situations and each time they scored a steady two out of three chances, adding to their total considerably. We got just the one man-up which went to 6-4 as two Germans were kicked out.

Unfortunately, it’s very difficult to score in this situation as the Germans just lined the goal month. Only Frankie managed to slot a goal through their blocks.

The final quarter was better and we became more organised having worked out the framework of the new systems and getting the match experience under our belts.  Germany scored just two conversions from one man up and two from open play for the match to finish 23-6.

It sounds like a high score and it was but the three-chance man ups do exaggerate it enormously. Our girls played well and had new systems to play after a heavy week’s training.

Plus the Germans got better; they fly to Zagreb for the European Championships on Friday and were ready by the end of the week to play a major competition.

The week’s training camp was excellent for the girls. They got stuck in straight after their break and had a good fight with a fully prepared German team.

Now they have a month or so in Manchester, just building up their fitness and technical training ready for the Hungarian national league and possibly the Commonwealth tournament.

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