It was an epic weekend in sport, with round one of Suncorp’s Super Netball showcasing three state head to heads, a disappointing loss for Australia against New Zealand in the women’s Twenty20, and an eerie history-making moment in the AFLW.
Here, we give you a snapshot of the weekend’s highlights.
1. A spooky draw for the GWS Giants and Fremantle.
The AFLW saw its first ever draw on Saturday afternoon, with the GWS Giants and Fremantle finishing with a scoreline of 43-43.
But there was a very creepy similarity between the AFLW’s first draw, and the first ever men’s draw in 1897. They both finished with the exact same score.
On June 22, 120 years ago, Fitzroy and South Melbourne tied 43-43.
Phoebe McWilliams of the Giants kicked her second goal in the last quarter to establish a lead, before Fremantle’s Ashley Sharp kicked two goals to put Fremantle in front. But it was a goal in the final two minutes from Aimee Schmidt that ultimately drew the match.
2. NSW Swifts struggled under pressure.
In a sellout game at Sydney Olympic Park Sports Centre, the NSW Swifts and the Giants opened the Super Netball.
Both teams entered the fourth quarter with 42 points, but after a strong finish, the Giants came out on top with a 58-53 win.
Giants coach Julie Fitzgerald put her team’s shaky start down to their nerves in the lead up to the season, saying “It took them a while to settle, but then even when we did settle I thought we had chances that we just didn’t take.”
Swifts coach Rob Wright said while he was pleased his team kept up with the Giants for the most part, “They probably just dealt with the pressure a little bit better than we did.”
3. An extraordinary comeback from the Thunderbirds.
In the first round of the Super Netball, the Adelaide Thunderbirds played the West Coast Fever. For the first three and a half quarters, the Fever looked to be the stronger team, but with only eight minutes remaining on the clock, the Thunderbirds delivered a stunning finish to win 56-51.
— #SuncorpSuperNetball (@SuperNetball) February 19, 2017
With Gia Abernethy taking the court, making her first ever appearance, the Thunderbirds scored eight successive goals and showed strong defence.
Thunderbirds coach Dan Ryan fittingly said afterwards of the tough first three quarters, “Perhaps it was a reflection of the team taking time to come together and the connections not being there.”
But ultimately, he said “That last 15 minutes is what [it’s] all about.”
4. Australia’s disappointing Twenty20 loss to New Zealand.
After a wet game in Geelong, Australia finished 9-61 from 13 overs on Sunday, while New Zealand finished 9-101 from their 20 overs. An impressive hat trick from New Zealander Anna Peterson ensured their win, but it was Australia’s Molly Strano who made history.
In just her second game for Australia, the 24-year-old finished with the best figures by an Australian in men’s or women’s T20 internationals.
Ultimately, she said it was “bittersweet.”
“I hate losing,” she said. “Especially when you’ve got the green and gold on and you’ve got the big crowd here.”