Like at home, sport is a big part of Australian culture. AFL, Cricket and Rugby League are some of the most popular games to support. Origin games between New South Wales and Queensland are big events in the sporting calendar, and AFL games frequently take over the Eastern Suburbs in Sydney, which is coincidentally where my university is.
At home, I have no real affiliation to any team, however this year I have followed a local Sydney team called the Blacktown Bulldogs. I started watching their Rugby League matches because a close friend and her family support this team religiously. After watching a game at their house, I was invited to watch a game at the Olympic Stadium. Interestingly, one side of her family, her dad’s side, supports the Bulldogs, while her mum supports the Penrith Panthers, and it was these two teams that were playing. Both local Sydney teams, it made for a really interesting night. It was particularly rowdy in the stadium because these were the two top rivalling home teams. The stadium was full of families and some extremely dedicated fans with every piece of merchandise.
The game itself was incredibly close but the Panthers won in the end. I really enjoyed the evening and seeing the local rather than regional teams compete was quite different. Though I have to admit the NRL rules had to be explained to me more than once.