Sharks log first win at London Olympics

Australian men's water polo coach John Fox lauded an improved defensive display which delivered a crucial first win at the London Olympics on Tuesday.

The Sharks, after suffering a tournament opening defeat to Italy on Sunday, downed Kazakhstan 7-4 to square their win-loss ledger.

Australian defender Rhys Howden scored two goals in a performance notable for some fine shot-stopping by goalkeeper Joel Dennerley.

"When he is on his game, he is up there amongst the best in the world," Fox said of Dennerley.

"He was assisted by our defence ... which was excellent."

After conceding eight goals to the Italians, the Sharks were miserly in defence against the Kazakhs, who could muster just a solitary goal to halftime.

By the main break, Australia had netted four to take a stranglehold on the contest.

And apart from a brief rally by Kazakhstan, who scored consecutive goals in the third quarter to sneak within one, Australia dominated.

"I was much happier, obviously at halftime we had only allowed one goal," Fox said.

"We had a little lapse in the third quarter when we allowed two easy ones and then the rest of the game was very good."

But a series of near misses in front of goal frustrated the Australian coach.

"Offensively we have still got to pick it up," Fox said.

"Our conversion is not great at the moment, we're hitting a lot of wood so we just have to adjust the radar a little.

"But we'll improve each game, we're working our way into it which is what we hope to do."

The Sharks play Spain on Thursday in their third of five preliminary matches.