V for Vic Arious
Post NRL Grand Final for your Australian Rugby League fan is a bit like finding yourself a restaurant at a popular seaside tourist destination mid-Winter. There might be some quality options to be had, but they can be pretty difficult to locate and may be different to what you would normally go for.
Whilst the football Gods have shown worshippers some mercy this week with the Super League decider just played and the one off Trans-Tasman test to come on Sunday, from next week onwards things get a bit sketchier as tragics will need to search a bit harder for their next rugby league meal.
Once again the Four Nations tournament will provide the bulk of the post-season diet, its staple of Kiwi/Roo/Eng with a dash of Welsh too good to pass up. What shouldn't be ignored however are the smaller boutique delicacies that are on offer throughout the Spring months, as littered around the globe are morsels of league that can be surprising tasty if you are capable of tracking them down.
Take for example this week's victory of the South African Rhinos over the re-vamped Canadian Wolverines. Has there ever been a team more shrouded in secrecy than the South African RL side? Looking through their team list you half expect to see Jason Bourne named at five-eighth, yet they were able to put the cleaners through a Canadian side that has already notched up wins against Jamaica and the US Tomahawks.
This result adds another dimension to the upcoming Atlantic World Cup qualifiers at Campbell's Field NJ, a tournament that may be as hard to follow as a Salvador Dalai film for an Australian fan but is sure to be incredibly flavoursome. Can the US finally realise their world cup dream? Or will the smokeys from Jamaica or South Africa upset David Nui's dream on his home turf?
The action is mirrored across the pond in Europe where Russia, Serbia, Italy and Lebanon battle it out for their shot at the big time. Even your most elitist, club worshipping international league snob is sure to garner some enjoyment out of these games as a smattering of ESL and NRL players lend a hand to their thickly accented brothers from the Motherland in the round robin tournament.
Top all this goodness off with a couple more European Internationals and hopefully the odd match in the pacific (that doesn't get chucked in the bin at the last minute) and you're teams dud NRL performance this year will be nothing but a distant memory.
Now all that's left to do is stock up on the No-Doz for the early morning streaming... and maybe some indigestion tablets for the upcoming rugby league gorge-fest that awaits.