The Australian women's water polo team thrashed a "small" Japan side 19-2, bringing them one step closer to the World League Super Finals.

Currently ranked second in the world, the Stingers had expected the Asia-Oceania qualifier to be their toughest game, but dominated each quarter - 5-0, 7-1, 4-1 and 3-0.

Nikita Cuffes' six-goals and goalkeeper Alicia McCormack's 13 saves helped Australia pummel the Japanese side.

But head coach Greg McFadden put the win down to the height difference.

"We were expecting our toughest game but they were so small and couldn't match up," McFadden said.

"In the fourth quarter we threw in the juniors and they kept the game scoreless for five minutes. Then we put in the old boilers and they scored three goals in three minutes."

Australia have already beaten China in the four-team Asia-Oceania league.

Next they will come up against New Zealand in a do-or-die game for the Kiwis.

If Australia win they will be the first team to qualify for the Super Finals in Montreal, Canada, next month but if the Kiwis lose they will be knocked out of the competition.