Well, folks, rugby season is officially over. And for fans of the Wests Tigers, that is welcome news. Throughout the last NRL season, they were able to rack up just four victories and 14 points as they finished a second consecutive year at the bottom of the league table.
Add to that Australia’s dismal campaign in the Rugby World Cup in France, where the Wallabies crashed out at the pool stage after losing to both Fiji and Wales, and the end of the season couldn’t be more welcomed.
For fans of the Penrith Panthers, however, they will be sad to see the curtain come down on yet another championship-winning campaign. The New South Wales outfit became the first team in 40 years to complete a threepeat of NRL championships on October 1st, narrowly edging the Brisbane Broncos 26-24 in a nail-biting Grand Final in Sydney.
They will be aiming to win an unprecedented four straight crowns when the new campaign gets underway next year.
While rugby may give you your adrenaline fix, it’s not the only sport available for enjoyment. So don’t fret, there are plenty of things to do this summer to keep you entertained and stave off the rugby withdrawal symptoms. Here are four of them.
For many Australians, the start of summer means one thing, cricket. It’s not rugby, but it’s still a great sport to watch or even play. Whether you’re an avid follower or new to the sport, there’s no denying that the world’s favorite bat-and-ball extravaganza is enthralling when it’s played at the very highest level.
Over the last month, while Australia was getting decimated in the Rugby World Cup, the Baggy Greens have been performing much better in the ongoing Cricket World Cup in India. They have won six of their eight games throughout the group stage thus far and look dead set on reaching the final four. Once there, they will have their sights set on lifting the famous trophy for a record-extending sixth time. To do that though, they will have to defeat the in-form and undefeated hosts.
If you’re not interested in watching cricket, why not gather some friends and try playing it instead? Cricket’s slow pace is perfect for downtime and relaxation after rugby, and the snacks and drinks that come with it aren’t half bad either. You might not become the next Shane Warne, but at least you’ll have fun trying.
Play Online Pokies
With the weight of rugby off your shoulders, online pokies offer the perfect escape. Okay, okay, we know what you’re thinking. But hear us out. If you’re feeling nostalgic for rugby season but want to try something new, they can be a fun way to pass the time. Plus, you can find plenty of sports-themed online pokies in Australia such as Rugby Star and Rugby Riches that will let you pretend, for a little while at least, that you’re still on the field.
While the rugby season may well have come to an end, the soccer season is well and truly reaching its apex. The A-League has just gotten underway and there are currently four teams’ level on seven points at the division’s summit. All of them will be hoping to overthrow the Central Coast Mariners who won the league in convincing fashion last term, thumping Melbourne City 6-1 in the Grand Final.
Up in the Northern Hemisphere, there is also plenty to digest. Manchester City have just returned to the top of the English Premier League however, Ange Postecoglou is an Australian who has taken the league by storm. The former Celtic manager took over Tottenham Hotspur a couple of months ago and led them to the summit of English football, at least for a few weeks. And had it not been for two red cards in a recent blockbuster encounter against fellow London outfit Chelsea, they may very well still be there.
The UEFA Champions League is reaching the end of its group stage and in the new year, the knockout rounds will get underway. Manchester City are the favorites for that competition also, however, two teams powered by English stars will push them far. Harry Kane and Jude Bellingham moved to Bayern Munich and Real Madrid respectively in the recent transfer window and both have been in scintillating form. Both the Bavarians and Los Blancos will be hoping their form can lead them to the famed Big Eared trophy one more time.
Take a Hike
Okay, our sporting suggestions are now gone. Summer is an excellent time to embrace nature and the great outdoors. Hiking is an excellent option for those looking for adventure and some physical activity. In Australia, there are countless hiking trails waiting to be explored such as the Blue Mountains, Wilsons Promontory National Park, and even the Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park! Embrace your sense of adventure this summer.