This long weekend the Sydney Stingers return to Melbourne to take on the Melbourne Surge team in a water polo grudge match that might not go the Stingers’ way.

As they are the only two gay water polo clubs in Australia, the rivalry between the Stingers and Melbourne Surge is fierce. Grudge matches between the two teams have been happening biannually since 2002, and in that time the Stingers have managed to go undefeated.

This year, however, team captain Darren Wegg doesn’t seem overly confident that they will be able to keep the champions trophy on this side of the border.

The Sydney Stingers have always won the trophy and Melbourne continues to try and up their game but I think this year their team is looking good, Wegg said.

This year we have a lot of new players and a lot of inexperienced players, so I don’t know how it’s going to go. A lot of our experienced members have left or are going to be overseas whereas Melbourne has seen a lot of interest in their club so they now have an A team and B team. So obviously they can have all of their top players on one team.

Judging by the local water polo results over the past few weeks though, the Stingers need not be too fearful of the Melburnians. The Stingers have managed to win two out of three of the first winter season matches in the open tournament against local university and suburb teams.

It would be disappointing if we lost, Wegg said.

Particularly after Melbourne beat us at the Outgames, which is something that has never happened. But we’re training hard and getting our newcomers into shape.

To find out about upcoming water polo matches or to get involved playing, head to www.sydneystingers.org.au.

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