By Marc Llewellyn
Two leading rugby league teams will do battle at Adelaide Oval on Saturday June 24, in a decisive game that could pave the way for one of the sides to end the season on top of the table.
The match between fierce rivals the Sydney Roosters and last year’s grand finalists, Melbourne Storm, offers fans a great opportunity to see some of the game’s biggest names in action. Among them will be the Storm’s Cameron Smith, the captain of the Queensland State of Origin team and the Australian national team.
Fans can meet Sydney Roosters players at an open training session the day before the game, which will be played just three days after State of Origin Game 2.
“Adelaide Oval is one of Australia’s most iconic grounds, and to have the opportunity to play there is something everyone at the Sydney Roosters is looking forward to,” says Head Coach Trent Robinson.
“There’s no doubt that there is an appetite for rugby league in South Australia. We’re keen to do what we can to continue to grow the game, and we’re looking forward to engaging with the local community in the lead-up to the game.”
Sydney Roosters captain Jake Friend says that all the players are looking forward to playing at Adelaide Oval.
“For many of us, it will be our first visit to Adelaide,” he says. “It will also be the first time any of us will have played in Adelaide, and the chance to play at such an iconic ground in front of a new audience is something we’re all really excited about.
“It’s a game none of us will want to miss, especially as we’re up against the Melbourne Storm, who are always one of the competition heavyweights. I’m sure that the fans that head out to the game won’t be disappointed.”
Thousands of passionate interstate fans are expected to travel to South Australia for the match.
Staying on for the weekend – or longer
If you feel like getting to know Adelaide Oval a lot more intimately, you can climb onto the roof, 50 metres above the playing field. A two-hour RoofClimb experience involves climbing up and down ladders and multiple flights of stairs, and inching across metal grate walkways and bridges between the stands. You can even lean out over the goalposts.
Art lovers can ground themselves again at the The Art Gallery of South Australia, located on Adelaide’s cultural boulevard, North Terrace. There are plenty of influential Australian paintings here, an extensive assortment of Indigenous works, and European, Asian and Islamic art to look at too.
A visit to the atmospheric Adelaide Central Market has to be on your radar. This vibrant, busy place is filled with cafés, cheese shops, patisseries, fruit and vegetable stalls, meat and seafood outlets, and dozens of artisan food producers selling everything from local olive oil to old-fashioned lollies. It’s been the beating heart of Adelaide since 1870.
If you love wine, food and lashings of history then extend your trip with a visit to one of the surrounding wine-growing regions, like the Barossa, just an hour north west of Adelaide, or McLaren Vale, just 50 minutes south.
Even closer are the wineries of the Adelaide Hills, which start to pop up half an hour east of Adelaide’s city centre. Don’t miss a look at historic Hahndorf, Australia’s oldest German settlement and one of the prettiest towns countrywide.
Eating and drinking in Adelaide
You won’t have to walk far from Adelaide Oval if you feel like a meal or a drink after the game. The city’s rooftop and laneway bars and eateries are making a big splash these days, and many of them are in Adelaide’s buzzing West End.
Top places for a craft beer, local wine or a cheeky cocktail – as well as views across the city – include Hennessy Rooftop Bar. It’s on Level 13 of the stunning Mayfair Hotel. Another cocktail hot spot with extensive rooftop views is 2KW Bar and Restaurant, located eight floors above the city streets.
Adelaide’s famed West End laneway bars and eateries should definitely be on your menu. Head to Peel and Leigh streets as well as Gilbert Place, Gresham Street and Solomon Lane to enjoy in-form venues like the cool hideaway Maybe Mae, Spanish icon Udaberri Pintxos y Vino, and compact Clever Little Tailor.
Virgin Australia flies to Adelaide from all major Australian cities. Most major hire car companies are located at Adelaide Airport.