While Australia and New Zealand will be battling for one-day cricket supremacy at the MCG on Sunday, on the other side of the country another ANZAC clash for sporting dominance is looming.
But instead of the luscious green grass of Australian cricket’s premiere venue, this contest will unfold on the scorching hot sand of one of Australia’s most famous beaches, Scarborough.
And while Australians might laughingly dismiss any notion of quality New Zealand beaches, in Mike Watson and Sam O’Dea the Kiwis have produced an outstanding beach volleyball combination.
The pair won the Oceania Championships at Manly Beach in November, followed up with a win on the Australian national tour at Surfers Paradise in January, and now hope to add Scarborough Beach to their list of conquests.
But there’s a strong Western Australian contingent who will have a strong say in the Sunday action.
Australia’s second-ranked combination of Josh Court, from WA, and Victorian Damien Schumann will be the New Zealanders first obstacle.
Court and Schumann lost the Surfers Paradise final to Watson and O’Dea.
They were last week named as one of two Australian teams to contest this year’s World Volleyball Championships in The Netherlands.
In the other men’s semi, top seeds Chris McHugh and Bo Soderberg will take on Western Australian pair, Casey Grice and Cole Durant.
The women’s semi-finals will also take on an International flavor, with the European combination of Michaela Vorlova and Lucia Michalovicova taking on Australian top seeds Louise Bawden and Taliqua Clancy.
In the other semi, London Olympian Becchara Palmer and World U23 champion, Mariafe Artacho del Solar, will take on two-time Olympian, Tamsin Hinchley, and Manly’s Sarah Battaglene.