Rugby: Sydney Sevens
In front of a full house at the Sydney Football Stadium, the Women’s Rugby Seven’s team registered a clean-sweep of the two-day, three-game invitational series against Ireland.
Australia laid down their marker early on Saturday as they defeated Ireland 26-7 in game one. They continued their dominance over the Irish on day two, defeating them 29-7 in the second game and 24-0 in the final as they scored 13 tries and conceded just two over both days.
Shenae Ciesiolka impressed with some silky footwork while Ellia Green, Evania Pelite and Emma Tonegato were tied for top try-scorer with two tries each.
Nicole Beck epitomised Australia's performance in the series with a try-saving tackle behind the try line while Mahalia Murphy was devastating with the ball… not to mention her tenacity in defence.
The speed, skills and smarts of the way these girls played the game were super-impressive, and the parochial party-dressed crowd agreed as they clapped and cheered along Australia’s every move.
Australia, red-hot favorites for the Olympic gold medal later this year, currently leads the World Series which heads to Sao Paulo, Brazil for the next leg of the tournament.
- Game 1: Australia 26 - Ireland 7
- Game 2: Australia 29 - Ireland 7
- Game 3: Australia 24 - Ireland 0
Rugby League: Auckland Nines
The Jillaroos put on a suburb display of tantalizing footy as they stepped out at Eden Park, Auckland in a three-match series.
The series win came down to the third and final match; Australia won the opener 11-4 with a gutsy effort on Saturday before the New Zealanders won 9-0 to ensure the series would go to a decider on Sunday.
And the decider did not disappoint as the home side were urged on by another parochial crowd and down the Aussies 21-7. The New Zealanders claimed last year’s title at the NRL Auckland Nines and will hold bragging rights for another year.
- Game 1: Australia 11 - New Zealand 4
- Game 2: Australia 0 - New Zealand 9
- Game 3: Australia 21 - New Zealand 7
Cricket: Southern Stars
A resurgent India posted a five-wicket win to avert a whitewash to Australia in the women's ODI series on Sunday.
Although Australia had secured the three-match series with two previous wins, India was playing for valuable ICC points.
Australia notched 7 fro 321 for India to chase after winning the toss and electing to bat. Alex Blackwell top-scored with 60 for the Southern Stars, Ellyse Perry finished on 50.
But the star performer of the Australian innings was Indian fast bowler Shikha Pandey who captured 3 for 50. She also took a mid-wicket catch to dismiss Healy for 21 and, on the next delivery, secured the diamond-duck run-out of replacement batter Schutt by firing the ball at the stumps.
India at the crease, Skipper Mithali Raj top-scored with 89 after being handed an early lifeline. A fumbled stumping by stand-in wicket keeper Blackwell when found out of the crease couldn’t send her pacing, and neither a dropped catch at cover at the hands of Perry.
She was finally run-out when Kristen Beams hit the stumps from deep mid-wicket.
Opener Smriti Mandhana added a valuable 55 for India before being bowled by Kristen Beams (1 for 21).
Perry with 2 for 50 and Holly Ferling (1 for 41) were the other wicket-takers.
Australia heads to New Zealand later in February for three ODIs and three Twenty20 matches against the Kiwis.
- Game 1: Australia win by 101 runs
- Game 2: Australia win by 6 wickets
- Game 3: India win by 5 wickets
Basketball: Lauren Jackson
A sad day in Basketball as injured basketball star Lauren Jackson revealed she's considering quitting the sport entirely.
Last month Jackson, who has suffered from a chronic knee complaint, was released from her WNBL contract.
The 34-year-old was hoping to be fit in time for the Rio Olympics in august.
But Jackson suffered a major setback when an infection in the knee forced her into hospital for several days.
Stars 89 v Adelaide Lightning 81
The Stars pulled off a season-defining match Adelaide. Jordan Hooper top scored on 31 points and Lauren Mansfield registered 21.
Rachel Jarry said her teammates have rallied together following the recent news of SEQ’s liquidation, “It’s been a rough couple of days and it’s been really emotional. We are just so grateful sponsors have come on board and we can finish out the season – we are going to give it our best shot, we are playing for finals.”
Dandenong 77 – Sydney Uni 73
Dandenong Rangers have edged closer to the WNBL finals after beating the Sydney Flames 77-73.
The game was won in the third quarter as Dandenong soared, clocking a 13-point advantage in that quarter alone. An impressive 43 - 26 rebound effort also accounted to a win.
Rangers guard Steph Cumming (19 points), Sara Blicavs (18 points) and Lauren Scherf (17 points) top scorered for Dandenong.
Townsville 84 – Melbourne 60
The Townsville Fire set up a win by dominating the first term 29 – 7 over the Melbourne Boomers. The Boomers though, fought hard for the remainder of the match, but it was too late, the match was won in the first quarter and Townsville were assured the win. Maddie Garrick of the Boomers top scored on 24 points.
SEQ 87 – Perth 71
SEQ Stars beat Perth Links, backing up after a win the night before over Adelaide Lightning in Adelaide.
Bec Allen had a 20-point game for the Stars, Jordan Hooper scoring 18, and Ify Ikebwe 16 points as the Stars held onto a memorable win in Perth.
Lynx forward Carley Mijovic had a career-night impressed, on 34 points.
Townsville 75 – Bendigo 63
Townsville Spirit took control of the match early, and was able to keep Bendigo Spirit at Bay throughout, despite Bendigo’s efforts in the offense.
With five minutes on the clock Bendigo managed to come within 5 points, but Townsville’s Mia Murray and Cayla George sealed the win, taking some big shots when it counted.
In the end, the 35% shooting average hurt Bendigo, and wasn’t good enough for the Spirit to overcome the Fire.
Dandenong 73 – UC Capitals 69
Dandenong Rangers had a hard-fought win over the Canberra Capitals, 73 – 69.
Aimie Clydesdale was the difference between the two sides in the end, capitalizing on free throws and sinking a three-pointer late in the game, and putting her side ahead by four points,
Annalise Pickrel (18 points) and Sara Blicavs (17 points) starred for the Rangers, while Renee Montgomery impressed for the Capitals, top scoring on 20 points.
Softball: Down Under Series
The Japan national women’s team showed why they are ranked number 1 in the world by taking home the 2016 International Down Under Series trophy.
Japan manufactured 2 unearned runs in the 3rd inning and then shut down the Aussie Green offence allowing only 2 hits in the 2-0 win Sunday afternoon. Japan only allowed 10 runs in the 7 games they played. Aussie Gold finished the tournament strongly with a 4-2 win over New Zealand to claim 3rd place.
Earlier on Sunday, Aussie Gold’s bats came alive in a 5-0 win over Aussie Green. Aussie veterans, Stacey Porter, Brenda DeBlaes and Stacey McManus, each had two hits in the game. Amber Johnson and Ellen Roberts shut down the Aussie Green attack allowing only 3 hits. Japan completed their round robin part of the tournament with a 10-0 over New Zealand.
- Australia Gold 3 - Japan 11
- Australia 0 - New Zealand 1
- Japan 6 - Australia Green 5
- Australia Green 3 - New Zealand 0
- Australia Green 4 - Australia Gold 3
- New Zealand 0 - Japan 13
- Australia Green 1 - Japan 2
- New Zealand 3 - Australia Gold 4
- New Zealand 3 - Australia Green 5
- Japan 2 - Australia Gold 1
- Japan 10 - New Zealand 0
- Australia Gold 5 - Australia Green1
- Japan 2 - Australia Green 0
- Australia Gold 4 - New Zealand 2
Nettie Edmondson took home two more National Titles at the weekend, at the Australian Track Championships in Adelaide.
The 24-year-old was in dominating form, winning Friday’s Points race, and then lapped the field to take a hard-fought, however, at-ease victory in Saturday’s scratch race.
The wins puts her in good stead approaching the World Track Championships, and the Rio Olympics
Result Points Race
- Annette Edmondson (South Australia)
- Isabella King (Western Australia)
- Alexandra Manly (South Australia)
Result Scratch Race
- Annette Edmondson (South Australia)
- Georgia Baker (Tasmania)
- Ashlee Ankudinoff (New South Wales)
Tennis: Fed Cup
Samantha Stosur saved Australia's Fed Cup blushes in spearheading a stunning victory over Slovakia, and joined rarefied company in the process.
The world No.27 won all three matches she contested in the World Group II tie in Bratislava to book Australia a place in the World Group playoffs in April, with their opponent to be decided next week.
Team captain Alicia Molik soon finds out who now stands between them and a return to the World Group, as they’ll now be playing off to make a return to the top eight in the world
The Aussies have been part of the top eight national for the past five years and will look to rectify.
Stosur prevailed in both singles matches, including a tough 7-6 (7-5) 7-5 win over world No.29 Anna Karolina Schmiedlova on Sunday, and the come-from-behind 5-7 6-1 6-2 over Slovak pair Jana Cepelova and Daniela Hantuchova.
It cemented Stosur's place in Australian Fed Cup history, taking her career win-loss record to 36-15.
That edged her past the likes of Evonne Goolagong Cawley, Margaret Smith Court and Dianne Balestrat and gives her more wins than all but Wendy Turnbull (46-16) and Kerry Reid (37-10).
More than that, captain Alicia Molik argues, it removes the doubts over her ability to perform in high-pressure situations.
The veteran doubles pairing of Stosur and Casey Dellacqua fought back from a set down to defeat Jana Cepelova and Daniela Hantuchova 5-7 6-1 6-2 and claim the tie 3-2.
As she'd done all weekend, Stosur again came up big in the fifth-and-deciding rubber - holding serve in the crucial third set.
With both countries trading breaks of serve, Stosur produced a big hold to give the visitors the edge - either side of breaking both Cepelova and Hantuchova's serve to take a 5-2 lead before Dellacqua calmly served out the match.
Stosur had earlier recovered from being 5-1 down in the opening set against Schmiedlova to take the rubber 7-6 (7-5) 7-5 and give the visitors a 2-1 lead.
It was shortlived, as 17-year-old Kimberly Birrell was swept aside by former Australian Open finalist Dominika Cibulkova in straight sets, 6-3 6-1 in 75 minutes.