Tuesday, 3 May 2011

Australian 'football' cards

I have returned tired but happy from my Australian adventure with my two daughters.
Australian's are sport mad. My dad explains that if two flies are moving along a window, a group of Australians would gather and cheer one of the flies on to beat the other, and probably lay a few bets on the outcome.
We travelled in Autumn, so the two main sports played at this time of year are Rugby League (NRL)and Australian Rules Football(AFL). Although both these sports are played Australia wide, (and in New Zealand) League is predominately played in New South Wales and Aussie Rules in Victoria. Similar to the USA the teams are owned by a consortium or individuals. Russell Crowe, the actor best known for Gladiator, owns one of the Sydney League clubs called South Sydney Rabbitohs. It has been hinted on many occasions that his 'mate' Tom Cruise owns a share in the club as well.
Card collecting is not as prevalent as it is in the US, however I was able to find cards from both sports. I purchased two packs of each. Each pack contains 8 cards and there are signed cards, inserts and parallels available. There are 196 cards in the base set and 97 chase/parallel/inserts. The cards are on good card stock, bright and colourful with shiny cards aplenty throughout.
If you recognise any names, you're a better person than myself.

The first pack contained:#SP130 Luke Walsh Penrith Panthers
#R20 Jamie Buhrer Manly Sea Eagles (RC)
#15 Peter Wallace Brisbane Broncos
#35 Daniel Vidot Canberra Raiders
#58 Kevin Gordon Gold Coast Titans
#78 Adam Blair Melbourne Storm
#98 Mark Taufua Newcastle Knights
#186 Beau Ryan Wests Tigers

The second pack:
#SP152 Michael Crocker South Sydney Rabbitohs
#8 Sam Thaiday Brisbane Broncos
#46 Nathan Gardner Cronulla Sharks
#66 Tony Williams Manly Sea Eagles
#86 Gareth Widdop Melbourne Storm
#139 Mark Gasnier St George Illawarrah Dragons
#159 John Sutton South Sydney Rabbitohs
#189 Ben Matuling New Zealand Warriors

I may have lost a few of you a while back...so a little trival note...The Rugby League competition expanded about 20 years ago from the original 20 or so clubs to include clubs from other parts of Australia. The original clubs are named after animals; dragons, sharks, tigers, eagles, rabbits, roosters, panthers, eels, magpies, bulldogs, whereas the expansions clubs adopted names such as titans, steelers, broncos, knights, storm, raiders, warriors. I'm not sure of the reason, maybe these names sounded more scary and threatening. Considering that two original teams dropped from the competition were called Canterbury Berries and Newtown Bluebags.

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