The first day at the Australian and Oceanian Open Club Championships was a success. The day started strongly with the title defending Sydney Uni men’s handball team beating the Wolves HC from Brisbane with 31 to 17 points. That said, it was not a one-sided game at all. The Wolves started off the game with 7 points to 1 against the favourite, Sydney Uni. Most through the match the two teams then were neck and neck, until towards the end of the second half Sydney Uni extended their lead and won.
Also in the first round of the men’s games, Melbourne HC could win the opening match against UTS 31-29 in a very tough game. Melbourne HC mostly dominated the match and came in strong from the first minute. The strong and tactical play from Bojan Jasper and Dragan Javanovic, such as tall Oliver Mitchel on the wing, Melbourne could get through the UTS defence in the first half of the game and scored plentifully. Only in the second half, UTS manages to fight back and reduced the 7 point lead of Melbourne to a 2 goals lead.
In the last men’s match of the day the dominant UTS team won over West Coast HC with plenty of fast breaks with a total of 31 to 24 goals.
In the women’s competition, the title defending Melbourne HC won easily in the opening match against Sydney Uni with 34 to 18. At the same time, in the neighbouring hall, Auckland won 23 to 12 over SouthSide/Deakin HC. Unlike the score result, the match was extremely even in the first half with both teams scoring very little. Though in the second half Auckland’s shots find the goal more often, where SouthSide HC seems to miss a lot of opportunities.
Later that day, Auckland HC got a second match against the UTS women, in which UTS women defeat them in a very fast and emotionally charged match. The final score was 20 goals for UTS against 11 for Auckland. At the same time, the two strong teams of Sydney Uni and Canterbury Quakes played each other in an extremely close game. Both teams fought for the lead, but only towards the end, the Canterbury Quakes managed to get that all important win with 28 to 26 points.
The AOCC day one went out with a literal bang, as the two favourites, Melbourne HC and Dumbea HB from New Caledonia played each other in the probably most physical match of the day. In the first half Dumbea HC seemed to be unstoppable, with players like the only 17-year-old Cassidy Chambonnier scoring pretty much every shot towards the goal. Not even an Elsa Perhag, who has the strongest shot in the Australian women’s league, could get through the defence. Only in the second half, the Melbourne team managed to fight back and shoot several goals past the strong New Caledonian goalkeeper, Madeline Faupala, and finish the game even with both teams scoring 21 points.