Great Britain water polo team lose to Italy in Manchester

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GB water polo is struggling - Pietro Figlioli

Britain's men's water polo team were given a lesson in finishing as they continued their build-up to the 2012 Olympics with a 14-6 defeat by Italy.

Team GB hit the woodwork seven times in the first half of the World League preliminary match in Manchester.

Those near-misses proved costly as world champions Italy cruised into a 9-2 lead at the break.

Joe O'Regan, Rob Parker, Craig Figes and Ciaran James struck for the hosts but Italy were comfortable winners.

"The first half was quite tough for us and it did take us a long time to get into the match, but this is our debut in the World League and it is great to play at this level, " said GB captain Figes.

"The second half allowed us to show our potential. We really pushed them hard and I think we performed well overall. We will learn from playing the World Champions and I'm excited for our next match."

Britain continue their World League campaign away to Russia on January.

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