Having spent countless late nights watching our cricketers collapse under the pressure of retaining the Ashes, Australia’s sporting fans are hungry for some success. If you’re tired of watching catastrophic sporting capitulations, we’ve put together a list of some of Australia’s less-publicised sporting successes to enjoy instead.
Very few sporting teams anywhere in the world have seen the same success as the Australian men’s hockey team. They’re the only Australian side to receive medals at the last six Olympic games, and won the Hockey World Cup in 1986, 2010 and 2014.
Unlike our cricketers, the Kookaburras hold an edge over England, having won every Commonwealth Gold Medal since hockey became a part of the games. They won four straight Champions Trophies between 2008 and 2012, as well as taking out third place in 2014.
Amid the talk about cricket ‘legends’ retiring, it’s worth pointing out that hockey fans still have the privilege of watching Jamie Dwyer run around. Dwyer is a five-time world player of the year and a bona-fide legend of the sport, having scored 222 goals in his 341 international games.
You know, the ones who just won the Netball World Cup for the 11th time?
If there’s one thing Australian sport fans like almost as much as beating England, it’s getting a win over our trans-Tasman rivals. Eight of the Diamonds’ 11 World Cup wins have come against the Silver Ferns, including an incredible battle that ran into overtime in 2011.
When people think of netball they tend to think of private schoolgirls running around on a Saturday morning, but there’s much more to the game than that. At the highest level, netball is fast and skilful, making it easy to watch whether you’re a diehard fan or not.
Southern Stars (Women’s Cricket)
If you’re still craving cricket success, look no further than the Southern Stars. Whereas Michael Clarke and the men’s team have battled against the swinging ball in England, our women’s team is close to taking out the Ashes after winning a one-off test match in Canterbury. They’re also the number-one ranked team across all three formats of the game, something that our men can’t match.
Women’s cricket is home to immense sporting talents like Ellyse Perry, who has excelled for her country at the highest level of soccer and cricket.
Davis Cup (Tennis)
Australia’s tennis players have been in hot water recently. As well as sporting one of the worst haircuts in history, Nick Kyrgios has been roasted in the media for one particularly bad sledge to Stan Wawrinka.
Couple Kyrgios’ ‘eccentric’ on-court behaviour with the very public battle between Bernard Tomic and Tennis Australia, and you can see that Aussie tennis is full of strange characters.
What that chaos creates is brilliant, entertaining tennis. In his fourth-round loss at Wimbledon, Kyrgios played some of the most incredible tennis you will ever see before falling apart, talking to himself, tanking and then finding his fantastic form again.
He might be a bad boy, but Kyrgios produces crazy, engrossing tennis that will have you craving more.
That’s right, it’s another hockey team! Although not quite as dominant as the men, Australia’s women’s hockey team is full of potential.
They’ve won three Olympic gold medals over the years, the most recent being at Sydney in 2000, and finished second at last year’s World Cup behind the Netherlands. With players like Anna Flanagan – who is 23 but already has 150 international caps – leading the way, the Hockeyroos are likely to be a force to be reckoned with in years to come.
Like the men’s team, the Hockeyroos play an entertaining, fast-paced game that will keep people glued to their televisions.
So, there you have it! If our cricketers fall apart tonight, just remember that there’s more to the sporting world than those 11 men standing around in whites.