After the perfect farewell to Summer at the weekend with plenty of sun, surf and zinc, it's only fitting the weekly wrap begins with the sport that epitomises an Australian summer, Surfing.
The 2016 Women's Tarrant Pro was held at Merewether Beach in Newcastle in which a tenacious Sally Fitzgibbons defeated Stephanie Gilmore in the final, 14.73 to 10.
It’s the first and last competition for the pair prior to the World Surf League opener, the Roxy Pro in March on the Gold Coast.
Both surfers proved their form and showed they are ready to take the waves right though 2016 and put Australian surfers back on top this year. For the first time since 2004, Australia ended 2015 outside the top two on the women’s world tour.
And Fitzgibbons is serious about winning a maiden world title:
“This is so good – such a great start the year,” Fitzgibbons said. “Having a win early in the year is awesome for confidence and momentum going into the CT season. The best thing has been competing at this event. Competing in these regional areas is so great with all the support and energy shown from the local community there’s just nothing better.”
Gilmore surfed an amazing contest posting a near perfect heat score of 19.50 in her semifinal but was unable to find the waves she was after in the final.
“It’s been a really good week,” Gilmore said. “I feel like we had some really fun waves this event. I definitely peaked in my semi then couldn’t really buy a wave in the final, but I’m really happy with this result, it’s a great start to the year. During my semi everything was feeling really good, my body, my boards just everything was working so that is definitely encouraging as we approach Snapper. I haven’t felt like that competing in a really long time so I’m stoked on that.”
In a thrilling final quarter, the SEQ Stars pipped the Dandenong Rangers to register an 86-82 semi-final win.
Perth Lynx continue to break record books and end a 16-year drought and storm into the Grand Final with a 19-point win over rivals Townsville Fire, 91-72.
The Southern Stars went down by four wickets against the White Ferns at the Basin Reserve in Wellington, and in the first of three T20 matches.
Captain Meg Lanning top scored for Australia with 30 from 28 balls after being sent in to bat. Leigh Kasperek took career-best figures of 4/7 in a Player of the Match performance to restrict Australia to 7/113 at the Basin Reserve.
In reply, New Zealand hit the winning runs with nine balls remaining after captain Suzie Bates (33 from 32) built a solid platform up the top of the order.
Skipper Meg Lanning believes a complete batting performance from the team isn't far away:
Seister Carmen and Caroline Marton,will represent Australia in taekwondo at this year's Rio Olympics.