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Great Britain set sights on South Africa after Russia defeat

Great Britain’s final Group A game ended in a 22-6 (2-6, 1-5, 1-5, 2-6) loss to Russia at the FINA Women’s World Junior Championships in Volos on Wednesday.

After finishing fourth in their pool, the team’s attention now turns to tomorrow’s crucial crossover against South Africa in the 13th-16th classification semifinals.

A win on Thursday morning will guarantee GB a place in the top 14, which head coach Theo Nousios set his sights on before the tournament.

In today’s match against 2009 champions Russia, GB were always likely to struggle against a team who have finished in the top four at seven of the previous eight junior championships.

City of Manchester’s Honor Grimes continued her fine form in front of goal by scoring twice in the first quarter, once from distance and then on extra, but it was Russia who took a commanding 6-2 lead.

In the second, London Otter’s Brooke Tafazolli opened up her tournament account on extra as GB battled hard to find a way back into the game.

However, the momentum was still with Russia as they added five more to secure an 11-3 advantage at the half.

In the third, there was more success for GB on extra, this time through City of Manchester’s Katy Andrew.

But with Rhianne Oscroft missing again through injury, an under-strength GB began to tire as the quarter wore on and Russia extended their lead to 16-4 going into the final period.

Grimes completed her hat-trick from a penalty to record her ninth goal of the championships, while Rosie Huck also fired in on extra, but Russia ran out 22-6 winners as they now go in search of a podium finish.

Despite three consecutive defeats for GB, the team will be keen to end these championships on a high and will be ready to give everything in tomorrow’s crossover game against South Africa.

At this tournament, South Africa are also without a win after losing to Hungary (18-3), Brazil (14-5) and New Zealand (9-5) to finish bottom of Group B.

GB’s 13th-16th classification semifinal against South Africa starts at 10am local time and you can follow the match live via the official website and on the England Water Polo Twitter account @ENGWaterPolo.

If GB triumph, they will face Netherlands or Ukraine in the 13th-14th classification final on Friday.

Photo Credit: Volos 2015 Official Website.