It was an epic weekend in sport, as we entered round two of Suncorp’s Super Netball and round four of the AFL Women’s. We also saw the final race of Nutri-Grain’s annual Ironman and Ironwoman series on Sunday, where an impressive finish by Victoria’s Harriet Brown marked her first ever win.
Here, we give you a snapshot of the weekend’s highlights.
1. Meet Harriet Brown – the 2017 Ironwoman.
Brown won first place in the 2017 Ironwoman competition on Sunday, eight years after debuting in the same location as a wildcard. Now 26, it was a powerful sprint in the final moments of the race that secured her title.
Reflecting on her first Ironwoman series at 18, Brown says, “I think I finished last in every race that weekend.” She says she set a “secret goal” to win the series, after breaking her jaw in a bike accident last year.
“I kept it to myself but I guess everyone who’s training is really wanting that,” she said.
When Brown isn’t winning the title of 2017’s Ironwoman, she’s working as an exercise physiologist and Pilates instructor in Queensland. She’s also a professional lifesaver.
2. Wasted chances as Adelaide Thunderbirds lose to NSW Swifts.
The Thunderbirds lost to the Swifts on Saturday, with a final score of 54-44, and their coach Dan Ryan has forced them to re-watch the game as a team, noting every wasted turnover that cost them the game.
"The turnover conversion stat was just 14 out of 33 and that is the difference between winning and losing," he said. "It was not what the Swifts were doing, it was what we were not doing and it is about us fixing our own backyard."
He described the session as "honest and direct," and noted for many players, it was only the second time they've played together as a team. Nonetheless, Ryan is adamant that with a stronger attacking game, the Thunderbirds have a much better chance of establishing themselves this season.
3. A heartbreaking injury for Collingwood's Kate Sheahan.
Playing her debut for Collingwood, Kate Sheahan, who is the daughter of well-known sports journalist Mike Sheahan, suffered a serious knee injury which might spell the end of her AFLW career.
The 35-year-old, who was on the field for less than one minute before she hit the ground in excruciating pain, says her chances of playing professionally again are likely over.
"The reality is, I’m 35 and I’m clearly injury prone. Who is going to take me?" she said.
This was our dream Dad and we did it. It's didn't finish perfectly, but I made you proud and that's all that matters ❤ pic.twitter.com/7sPGLf3bns
— Kate Sheahan (@KateSheahan1) February 25, 2017
Sheahan was desperate to play in the Magpies squad, and says she "prayed" on Thursday night that she'd get a chance to play this weekend.
"On the Thursday night... I prayed," she said. "I got a call from the coach on Friday when I was leaving work. I nearly had to stop the car. I was shaking. I just kept saying thank you."
But her dream would be crushed in mere moments. Ultimately, Sheahan says "all that matters," is that she made her father proud.
"I would do this again and I’d break a leg and I’d do everything else just to get that game," she said.
4. Giants win biggest victory of the Super Netball so far.
With a scoreline of 66-51, the GWS Giants established the biggest win of the season to date against West Coast Fever on Saturday night.
Defence player Rebecca Bulley said after the game she felt the team "were 10 times better than last week, which is really exciting."
The Giants have only played together a handful of times, but they already look like the team to beat. Captain Kim Green, who plays WA and C for the Giants, was named Most Valuable Player, with Kristina Brice also playing a stellar game, scoring 22 from 24 goals.
Listen to the best stories of the last round of the AFLW on Mamamia Out Loud.